Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 10, 1969
NUMBER 48, PAGE 4-5a

The Future Kingdom And The Lord's Supper


The doctrine of premillennialism is widespread, infesting nearly every Protestant denomination to a greater or lesser degree. The idea of a "future reign of Christ on earth" is a part of the doctrine of Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, etc. Although no two groups present the theory just alike, there are major points of similarity which are common to most groups holding to the teaching:

a. The kingdom of the Old Testament prophecies has not been established. We now have only the "church phase," and the "kingdom phase" to come later.

b. God's promises to make of Abraham's seed a great nation have not yet been fulfilled.

c. Christ came to set up his kingdom, but the Jews refused to accept it. Christ then set up the church instead, intending to return and set up his kingdom.

d. The Jews as a nation will be converted to Christianity and restored to Palestine.

e. Christ will reign with his saints 1,000 years after this present age ends, seated on David's literal throne in the city of Jerusalem.

The props of this doctrine of premillennialism are misinterpreted scripture, perverted scripture, misapplied scripture, and imagination. There are many ways by which the Bible refutes the error of the doctrine, but we want to notice in this article a point that is seldom discussed in relation to the premillennial theory. We are referring to the matter of the Lord's Supper, and its bearing upon the pre-millennial "future kingdom" doctrine.

It is our contention that the Lord's Supper (a memorial feast instituted by Christ (Luke 22:14-20); observed by the church weekly (Acts 20:7); taught by the Holy Spirit through Paul (I Cor. 10:16-21, 11:20-29) is a witness and testimony of the fact of the present existence of the Kingdom of God on earth.

Notice that when Christ first instituted the Supper following observance of the Passover before his crucifixion, he stated that he would "not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom" (Matt. 26:29). The reason it is called a communion is that it constitutes a sharing or partaking with Christ: "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a communion of the body of Christ?" (I Cor. 10:16)

Consider the dilemma of the "future kingdom" theorists:

a. They say the kingdom is not present now, but will come when Christ comes at the end of this age.

b. Christ said he would not partake or commune with the disciples until he did it in the kingdom. (Matt. 26:29)

c. Therefore, Christians partaking of the communion now are doing so without purpose and making a mockery of it. They call it "communion," but in reality it is no communion, since there is no kingdom and Christ will not commune until the kingdom comes.

A further problem arises when we consider the import of I Corinthians 11:26. Here Paul declares, "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink the cup, ye proclaim the Lord's death till he come."

a. The "future kingdom" advocates firmly insist that we do not have the kingdom now, but that Christ will establish his kingdom when he comes again.

b. The Bible says that we are to partake the Lord's Supper only "till he come." Thus after his coming this memorial feast will no longer be observed.

c. Therefore, according to the premillennialists, the Lord's Supper can never be properly observed, since we are to partake with Christ in his kingdom, but must cease when he comes again. If the theory is true, we must conclude that we cannot properly partake now (since it is to be "in the kingdom," and the kingdom has "not come yet"), and we cannot partake after Christ comes, because the Bible says we are to partake only "till he come."

It therefore appears obvious that either the Bible or the premillennial theory is false. Take your pick.

While on the subject, we might add that we believe the Lord's Supper is a powerful testimony as to the essentiality of the church. According to the premillennial theory, the church is a mere after thought or "stopgap" given by the Lord when the Jews sabotaged his plan to establish the kingdom at that time. This may be why so many today view the church as non-important, and non-essential in God's plan of redemption for man. They say that the church is good, like a social club is good, but non-essential.

No one doubts the importance of the kingdom, but notice:

a. The supper was an ordinance of the kingdom (Matt. 26:29).

b. But we find it being observed in the church (Acts 20; I Cor. 11)

c. Therefore, this leads us to the conclusion that both are now in existence, indeed, that they are one and the same (Matt. 16:18-19).

We further point out that the church is that institution which was purchased by the blood of Christ (Acts 20:28; Eph. 5:25). According to the teaching of Christ, the cup taken during the supper represents this blood of the covenant which was shed to purchase the church. Question: Would Christ, the son of God, have shed his blood to purchase a non-essential? Certainly not!

Our only conclusion, then, is that the Bible is right, and the "future kingdom" propagandists are misleading their followers, leading them from truth into error.

— Jefferson David Tant, 4011 Phyllis Place, Decatur, Ga. 30032