Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 26, 1951

More From Mark Against Millennialism

N. W. Allphin, Tahoka, Texas

In continuing our study of Mark's testimony as it relates to things bearing upon the premillennial question, we come next to the Lord's parable about the wicked husbandmen. Mark (12:1-12) Read it all, please; but here is the gist of it: A man planted a vineyard with a winepress and tower in it, and a hedge about it; he let it out to keepers, and went away. Later he sent servants at various times to collect the fruits; these men they killed or beat up; but last he sent his only son, and they proposed to kill him, and claim the inheritance for themselves. Jesus then told the Jews that the lord of the vineyard would come and destroy the husbandmen, and give the vineyard to others. Then he asked, "Have ye not read even this scripture: The stone which the builders rejected, the same was made the head of the corner," etc.? Next the record says, "they sought to lay hands on him; and they feared the multitude; for they perceived that he spake the parable against them." But here someone may ask, What has this to do with the question of Christ's kingdom? Well, summarily, it shows that in the mind of Jesus there was no thought, not even a suspicion, that he was to continue on earth and become a temporal ruler. More specifically, it shows these Jews up as the wicked husbandmen over God's vineyard (covenant and worship of the old dispensation), and how they had abused God's servants or agents, e.g., the prophets and John the Baptist. Then Jesus pictures himself as the "only son" sent at last, and their attitude toward him—they wanted to kill him. He then predicts what will happen to them, that is, their sovereignty under God should be taken from them, and given to others (see Matt. 21:43), and that they would be destroyed. He cites the scripture (their own prophecy) showing himself as the rejected stone. Is the meaning and purpose of this not perfectly clear? It certainly is to anyone not handicapped by theoretical blinders. He told those Jews what would happen to himself and what would befall them; and it all happened exactly so. In all his life's story there is not the shadow of an implication that God's original plans were in any way altered. Christ did not come here to set up an earthly kingdom. He came, lived and died, thus becoming the climax of all sacrifices —the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of the world. (Eph. 5:2; Heb. 9:26; I John 2:2) This is nobody's questionable deduction; it is an expressed and confirmed truth; Next, in verse 34, Jesus said to a man, "thou art not far from the kingdom of God." But, had there been present one of our big premillennialists, he likely would have told the Lord he was mistaken, because (according to them) the man was actually many centuries away from the kingdom. They tell us that the "little stone" that starts it has "not yet been cut out of the mountain." Now, who told them that? Not the Bible!

In the same chapter, verse 36, the Lord quoted what David in the Holy Spirit said concerning himself: "The Lord said unto my Lord, sit thou on my right hand till I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet." But our premillennial friends don't believe that. They fly into the face of Jesus, saying, no! He will not remain at the Father's right hand that long; that he will come back to earth and deal personally with his enemies. Yes, so they teach. David said it, the Lord sanctioned it, and Paul confirmed it, (Heb. 10:12, 13) but "it just don't look right" to them. (I may have more to say at another time about the putting of "all his enemies under his feet.)

Several things in the next chapter are used by futurists in support of their theory; so let us now look into some of them. In Mark 13:2, Jesus definitely refers to the destruction of the temple. And the apostles' questions that follow in verse 4 just as surely refer to what he said in verse 2. In verse 5 Jesus began his answer; and I submit with all possible emphasis that, in all his statements on through verse 29, he is still answering their questions of verse 4, namely, "when shall these things be, and what shall be the sign when these things are all about to be accomplished?" Now, if the above deduction is right (and I think it will admit no doubt), then "these things" came to pass—were "accomplished" while some of those who heard him speak were yet alive. In fact, this is stated positively in verse 30. Read it, and see. As to verse 7, 8, proof is abundant that all predictions therein became history in the lifetime of many who were then present. Then, in verse 9, he mentions the trials to be borne by the apostles; and history, sacred and profane, bears witness that all these came to pass. Next, he said the gospel must first be preached to all the nations. Well, Paul died before the end of these perilous times, yet before his death he said the gospel had gone unto "all creation under heaven." (Col. 1:23) Next, note verse 11: "And when they lead you to judgment, and deliver you up, be not anxious beforehand what ye shall speak; but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye; for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Spirit." Anyone who sets himself up as a teacher ought to know that such a promise is not made to people living in this age. Is there a Hamm, Norris or Weber, or any of their followers who think Jesus was talking about times yet future, who are willing to assert that, should trials, arrests or threats come to them, the Holy Spirit will give them directly the words they must speak? I don't know; but if they are, they are victims of a delusion. I know, and they should know, that the New Testament (our guide) was not then completed and compiled. For men to claim that inspiration for themselves now is an inexcusable blunder! And if they do not expect that inspiration, yet claim this as prophetic of the future, well, that is a bigger blunder! More from Mark some other time.