August 19, 2018

Premillennialism and Fellowship

By Leslie Diestelkamp

In recent issues of WORD AND WORK, a magazine published by premillennial brethren in Louisville, Kentucky, Stanford Chambers has demanded a "Manifesto," stating upon what conditions fellowship could be established. In the December issue of that paper he says: "We requested, and the situation demands, a clear, definite, affirmative statement of what specifically must be believed and taught in order that full fellowship may
be exercised."

It is not my purpose to write a creed. I shall, however, be glad to state conditions that prevent me from
extending fellowship.

What Must We Believe?

1. I cannot fellowship those who insist that I must believe the premillennial theories. Robert B. Boyd, in
a tract entitled, "Maybe You Are Premillennial But Don't Know It" says, "To speak where the Bible speaks
is to be premillennial. To be anything other than premillennial demands a retraction from that position that
claims to speak where the Bible speaks." Again he said, ". . .if you are a Bible believer, you are premillennial."

I concede that every theory peculiar to premillennialism can be "proven" (?) by scripture, but only by an
abuse of scripture! Exactly the same procedure would prove that animal sacrifices are necessary and that
instrumental music is right. In other words, when scripture is quoted in supposed proof of premillennialism,
that scripture has been abused -- taken out of context or misinterpreted. To actually "speak where the Bible
speaks" does not just mean to quote a verse that sounds like our theory, but it means to "handle aright the word
of truth."

Christ's Reign

2. 1 cannot fellowship those who teach that Christ will reign, after his second coming, over the earth for
1,000 years. This theory denies the completeness of the reign of Christ now. But the New Testament teaches
that: (1) Christ now rules in the Kingdom with all authority -- Mt. 28:18; Ac. 2:29-36; Heb. 1:1-8. (2) He will
thus rule until the end of time on earth-Heb. 10:12,13; 1 Cor. 15:23-26.

Church -- Kingdom

3. 1 cannot fellowship those who deny that the church is indeed the kingdom prophesied in Daniel 2:44 (and
other places). R. H. Boll, in the book, "The Kingdom of God," page 156, says, "Jerusalem will be His glorious
resting-place, and the center of His world- government in the age to come." But Jesus said, "My kingdom is
not of this world . . . " Jn. 18:36. Peter affirms in Ae. 2:17 that the events of that day were ushering in the "last
days." The gospel dispensation began with that Pentecost day and will continue until Jesus comes again. During
that dispensation, which, remember is the "last days," glory and honor is to be brought to God "in the church
and in Christ Jesus unto all generations for ever and ever" (Eph. 3:21-R.V.). There will be no dispensation on
earth after the one which started on the first Pentecost after Christ's resurrection and will end at his coming.
The church, which is the kingdom (Col. 1:13,18,24) is the only manifestation of that kingdom which this earth
will ever see.

Did He Fail

4. 1 cannot fellowship those who teach that Jesus failed to accomplish what he came to do. Again quoting
R. H. Boll in "The Kingdom Of God," page 86, he says, "The only thing that ever stood between Israel and
her glorious promises, kingdom and all, was her sinful condition." (His reference here and elsewhere in the book
is to an earthly kingdom such as Israel did indeed EXPECT -- but which God had not promised.) The sin of
Israel did not disrupt God's plan. On the cross Jesus said, "It is finished." He was there fulfilling all that God
had prophesied which included rejection, not acceptance, by the Jews!

Premillennialism Denies The Gospel

Actually, every theory that is peculiar to the premillennial beliefs is a denial of the gospel of Christ. The
gospel of the resurrection is denied when it is argued that the righteous dead will be raised at Christ's coming
and the unrighteous dead will be raised at the end of his reign of 1,000 years on earth. Jesus said, ". . . All that
are in their tombs shall hear his voice and come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life;
and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation." (Jn. 5:28,29). Again, in Mt. 25: 31,32 Jesus
declares that all nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate them as sheep from goats-indicating
that both the good and the bad will be there. In Rev. 1:7 we are told that when he comes "every eye shall see
him, and they also which pierced him." Even those who crucified Jesus will come forth on resurrection day.

In teaching that God still has a "land promise" to fulfill for the Jews, premillennialists deny the universal
nature of God's covenant and promise today. Paul teaches in Rom. 2:28,29 and Gal. 3:7-29 that all have equal
advantages under the gospel of Christ, and that the real seed of Abraham today is the Christian.

Let the speculations of men cease! Further, we must "Mark them which cause divisions and offenses
contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned, and avoid them" (Rom. 16:17). If brethren persist in teaching
theories that deny Christ's gospel and divide his people, they must be marked.

Truth Magazine I:5, 14-15
February 1957