Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 2, 1950

Matthew Vs. Premillennialism

N. W. Allphin, Tahoka, Texas

As was previously indicated, instead of quoting John in Revelation, I shall give statements from other New Testament writers, showing how premillennial interpretations vitiate the Lord's prophetic utterances about near at hand events, and corrupt the thinking of many Bible students from there onward. But, before our readers proceed further in this article, it is suggested that they read the 24th chapter of Matt. especially down through verse 34, carefully noting all sign given, which things they heretofore may have thought of as pointing to circumstances yet future.

In Matt. 24:3 the disciples of Jesus asked Him, saying, "Tell us when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming (margin, "presence"), and of the end of the world (age)? "From verse 4 Jesus began his answer, enumerating many troublesome events, as wars, famines, earthquakes, tribulation, death (for some), false prophets, etc. In verse 14 he said, "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached to the whole world for a testimony unto all the nations; and then shall the end come." Then he goes on to speak of the "abomination of desolation" told about by Daniel; then his caution to "flee to the mountains." etc. And in verses 20, 21 he said, "pray ye that your flight be not in winter, neither on a Sabbath; for there shall be great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever shall be." From verse 23 he continues to warn of false prophets, false christs, and of signs that are calculated to lead astray the disciples, even the elect; and in verse 29 he said, "immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven shall be shaken." Continuing, he speaks of the "sign of the Son of man in heaven," and of the mourning of all the tribes of the earth, and of his coming on the clouds, also of the sending forth of his angels to "gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." Next he gave the parable of the fig tree, and adds, when ye see all these things, know ye that he (it) is nigh, even at the doors. He concludes with this emphatic statement in verse 34: "Verily, I say unto you, this generation shall not pass away, till all these things be accomplished."

Well, what about all this? Simply this: Premillennialists tell us that none of these things has come to pass yet, none of it is history, but all still future. They teach that the great tribulation has not yet happened; they say that it is not due till Christ's second coming; and most of them say it will not come till after the "rapture of the saints" (a phrase not found in the Bible), not till after the first resurrection and all the saints have been taken up and (as most of them say) made secure "so as not to have to face that time at all." Where is their proof? They are just fresh out of proof—there isn't any; but it is a pretty theory, and they love to try to propagate it. With no proof, there is, of course, no room for argument since, as you see, Jesus said all those things should be accomplished before the passing of the generation to whom he spoke. Thus, it remains only a question of whose testimony we shall accept, theirs or the Lord's.

Apropos of the pronouncements on Matt. 24, let us hear R. H. Boll's evaluation of that matter as expressed in "The Revelation", page 36: "The sixth seal is a vision of the final catastrophe which occurs just before the Lord's glorious appearing with his saints. The signs in sun and moon and stars which are seen at the opening of the sixth seal cannot be distinguished from those foretold by the Lord Jesus Christ in his Olivet sermon (Matt. 24:29; Mark 13:24,25; Luke 21:25,26) ; and of those celestial portents, Christ told us that they follow immediately after the great tribulation." Thus, it is plain that they believe and teach that both the matter of the sixth seal and the things enumerated in Matt. 24 are future, since he says the one "cannot be distinguished from the other." Now, maybe he has something there—maybe he is right on this point, yet doesn't realize it; maybe these are references to the same series of events. But don't forget that Jesus said all of these things should be accomplished before that generation passed away; and don't forget that the generation to whom he spoke has passed away.

But in my fancy, I hear some reader tell me, "Remember that the disciples asked Jesus what would be a sign of "the end of the world?" Yes, I know; but answering what is involved here is too much to take on at this time. However, if, by the grace of an indulgent editor, I am permitted, I shall be happy to bring you the "end of the world" in a future installment.