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The Millennial Reign of Christ

by randy on March 29th, 2010

Dispensationalists who hold to the pre-millennial reign of Christ also believe that during his reign on earth he will re-establish and take pleasure in animal sacrifices.  Considering the book of Hebrews and the sufficiency of Christ’s atonement; you might wonder, “how on earth could anyone come to a bizarre conclusion like that?”

Dispensationalism takes Old Testament prophecies out of context and attributes them to a future third temple (Ezekial 43). Unfortunately for them, verses 18-21 can not be ignored. So what do they do?  They roll with the punches and make room for a post-calvary neo-levitical sacrificial system that God somehow still takes pleasure in.

Add a little smoke, a couple mirrors, some wool to pull over the sheep’s eyes and you’ve got a millennial kingdom with sacrifices that don’t conflict with the once for all sacrifice of Chirst…  or do they?

Dispensationalists use a clever little argument to justify their post-Christ sacrificial system.  First they quote Hebrews 10:4 to rightfully establish that even the mosaic sacrifices did not take away sins.  Then they quote Hebrews 10:3 to establish that the sacrifices served as a reminder of sins and pointed forward to Christ. Next comes the smoke and mirrors. They say, “Just as the sacrifices under Mosaic law looked forward to the once-for-all sacrifice of Christ, the millennial sacrifices look backward, memorializing the same event.”

Here’s the problem.  Even though the mosaic sacrifices did not take away sins, they were still categorized as sin offerings (Hebrews 10:18). Likewise, even though a dispensationalist will argue that the millennial sacrifices do not take away sins and merely point backwards to Christ, they must admit that Ezekiel still categorizes these sacrifices as offerings for sin (Ezekiel 43:19).  Anyone notice a problem?!  The book of Hebrews still establishes that, “there is no longer any offering for sin.”

According to the book of Hebrews, a re-establishment of the Levitical sacrificial system is considered heresy.  Yet this NEW doctrine, dispensationalism, established in the 19th century and invented in America has been and still is taught by men today.  As their own saying goes, “if it’s new it’s not true, and if it’s true it’s not new.”

Here are some quotes by dispensationalists:

“In this section we are dealing with the worship in the temple. The sacrifices offered will be memorial in character. They will look back to the work of Christ on the cross, as the offerings of the Old Testament anticipated His sacrifice… At this point we must answer a major question: Since all the sacrifices of the Old Testament were fulfilled in Christ, why are they restored again during the Millennium?” (“Thru the Bible Volume III”, J. Vernon McGee pg 520-521)

“Even as we have our communion service in remembrance of what Jesus did in his death for our sins, so when sacrifices are re-instituted in the kingdom age, they will not be for the purpose of putting away sin, but they will be memorial offerings by which we will be reminded of that sacrifice by which the sins were put away and we will be looking back at the cross and the sacrifices that was made there by Jesus Christ.” (Ezekiel 40-48 (1979-82 Audio), Chuck Smith, Start: 22:40  End: 27:45)

  1. Victoria permalink

    Hi Randy

    I really don’t see that a dispensational point of view is new in the 1900’s. I do not think you can prove that at all.

    And there are some very learned men like Dr. Robert Thomas(a very distinguished professor at the Master’s Seminary) who wrote a multi volume commentary on the book of Revelation, and Dr. Wayne Grudem who wrote a systematic Theology who are Premil. I wish you had quoted from premil men who are scholars in the field instead of pastors. I just think you make it sound as though a premil point of view is not scholarly, and that is simply NOT the case.

    And may I also note that it is not fair to brush all dispensational premils with the same brush stroke. I am no fan of the Tim Lahayes.

    I think it is difficult to dialogue with someone who uses terms like smoking mirrors, pulling the wool over the sheep’s eyes, etc. You use that language of all dispensationalists, so we are all branded as trying to pull the wool over the sheep’s eyes.
    Remember my comments are being made to someone(you) who directed me here.

    I have studied every eschatalogical position there is in the last 40+ years and have never found one as compelling as the premil position.

    This is your blog of course and you can post anything you like, but since you linked me here , I just wish to very respectfully disagree with you.

    This is meant to be friendly and I hope you do take it that way!

    God blessyou.

  2. Hi Victoria,

    There are two different pre-mil stances.

    There is the historic pre-mil stance which is held to by Wayne Grudem, Boice and perhaps some folks at the Master’s Seminary. This stance has been around for a very long time and is NOT the stance I am criticizing.

    The other is called dispensational pre-mil. This is the stance held to by the popular Tim Lahaye “Left Behind” series, etc and is what I was criticizing. It is most definitely invented in the 19th century (1800’s) by known sectarians of the day. It even has ties to seventh day adventism and the JWs. A great video on the subject can be found at:

  3. Victoria permalink

    Hi Randy

    I do know the difference. John MacArthur and Dr Robert Thomas are dispensational premil scholars. Neither of those men hold to anything that Tim LaHaye teaches–and I must say that most of the profs at the Master’s are dispensational premil men, because that is the theological position of that seminary.

    I am just pointing out that it makes no sense to talk about a teaching having its roots in Seventh day adventism and the JW cult when men like Dr. Richard Mayhew and Dr.John MacArthu and Dr. Robert Thomas certainly never got their dispensationalism form those sources.

    If you would READ the other viewpoint, as per Dr. Thomas Commentary on Revelation I think you could understand the other side better. I have been forced to do that myself recently as I have been forced to read “Triumph of the Lamb” because I teach with a woman who is amil.

    As for dispensational premil being a recent teaching–I just recently heard a sermon quoting an early church father who held that view. I am going to do some research and find that information for you.

    thanks, Randy–you saint of a man!!!

  4. randy permalink


    I thought this article might be helpful.

    It was written by Kim Riddlebarger in response to a dispensational diatribe that MacArthur went on at a conference in April 2007.

    MacArthur does believe the same dispensationalism as Tim LayHaye. He believes in a secret rapture of the church, at which point a tribulation occurs and God turns his attention to Israel. Furthermore he also holds the same position concerning the mark of the beast:

    “And, apparently, what’s going to happen: you take the mark on your hand or on your forehead. And, we’ve talked a lot about that, you know, that it’s that kind of the computer situation.”

    He also holds to the reinstated sacrifices during the millennial reign:

    “They [Jews of Jesus’ day] also believed that the temple would be rebuilt because that’s what Ezekiel says in Ezekiel 40-48, and temple worship would be at its apex. The eschatology of the Jews at the time of our Lord is precisely the eschatology that I believe because it’s what the Bible teaches. There were just interpreting the Old Testament in its normal sense.”

    What is it about John MacArthur’s dispensationalism that as you said is so different from Tim LaHaye’s? To the contrary, they are quite similar. The difference being Tim LaHaye wrote a book that turned into a movie and John MacArthur did not :)

    Concerning the source being Seventh Day Adventism and JW’s. Perhaps I would be more accurate to say that these beliefs came about during the same time period, from the same circle of sectarians and from the same sources. While I agree, John MacArthur did not get the ideas from them directly, that is not to say they do not share the same historic roots.

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