Premillennial Eschatology Confession of Faith
We believe in the imminent, future return of Jesus Christ to earth commonly referred to as the second Advent. He came to earth bodily during his first Advent as foretold in the Old Testament by the prophets, and he will most certainly return to earth physically as stated in the New Testament.
Our belief on eschatology can be defined as premillennial meaning that Jesus will return physically to earth preceding a 1000-year literal reign from his earthly location in Jerusalem as the undisputed monarch over the entire earthly, governmental system. His governmental administration will replace that of the corrupt, earthly system which is currently dominated by Satan subject to the restraint of God who is sovereign over the affairs of the universe. This new government will be characterized by righteousness where the knowledge of the Lord will fill the earth.
We recognize that the study of end time events is difficult and subject to differing interpretations by various groups of professing Christians, but we desire to teach the most likely scenario based on a balance of literal and figurative interpretation of the Scriptures using sound hermeneutical principles. Due to this line of logic, we reject the excessively allegorical interpretation of Scripture describing end time events that seeks to eliminate the theological principle of the literal reign of Christ on earth known as the millennial kingdom. These interpretations are known as amillennialism and postmillennialism which teach that the prophecies of the millennial kingdom are figuratively fulfilled through the church as the gospel going out to all nations.
We also reject full preterism which states that all future prophecies were fulfilled during the siege of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. by the Roman army. We also reject much of partial preterism which states that most future prophecies were fulfilled by 70 A.D. We also believe that the book of Revelation was written in 95 A.D. after the siege of Jerusalem and that no portion of Revelation applies to the 70 A.D. siege of Jerusalem.
We realize the possibility that a percentage of the new testament teachings on eschatology might have had a partial fulfillment in 70 A.D. to be followed by a complete fulfillment in the future. This view helps clarify biblical statements that suggest that the timing is near to the people living during the time of the ministry of Jesus.
We believe that God still has unfulfilled promises to national Israel that will not be fulfilled in the church as we know it today. Even though the physical descendants of Abraham might not be identifiable to us, God will somehow use an entity known as the Jewish nation to fulfill the Old Testament promises given to national Israel at that time. Because of these promises yet to be fulfilled to Israel, we believe that the millennial kingdom will be a Jewish led government with Gentile participation. The church and the nation of Israel are two distinct and differing entities identified in the Scriptures.
We believe that currently there is a partial blindness on the Jewish people that makes it difficult for them to come to a place of salvation, however, in the future, this blindness will be lifted when the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled. Now, it is difficult to determine how the current nation of Israel will be used during the return of Christ since there are different sects within the nation of Israel, some religious and some political.
We believe that in the future there is a specific individual known as the beast by the Scriptures that will rise to a position of dominance over the entire world. He will be given great power and authority by Satan, and he will be unchallengeable by any physical world ruler, and he will be given power to persecute the saints of God resulting in a multitude of executions. He will occupy a future, Jewish Temple and declare himself to be God and demand worship from everyone living on earth.
This time of unprecedented satanic rule is described in the Bible as the great tribulation which will be 3 ½ years in duration. This man will be accompanied by another world ruler known in the Scriptures as the false prophet. This man will assist the beast in bringing terror to the world. Before the time of the great tribulation, there will be another period of 3 ½ years that will begin when the beast makes a treaty with national Israel for peace.
We believe that at some time in the future either before, during or after this great tribulation, Jesus will call his church up from the earth in a supernatural event known as the rapture. During the rapture, Christians will be caught up into the air bodily and receive their glorified bodies never again to return to earth as mere mortal men and women. They will from that time forward forever be with the Lord.
The timing of the rapture is an issue of great dispute within the Christian community, so we are not dogmatic in our teaching on this issue of timing, but some of our teachers believe that the rapture will come before the period of great tribulation to remove the saints from the earth before the outpouring of God’s wrath on the wicked.
We believe that two major signs leading up to the series of end time events are the falling away (apostasy) and the revealing of the man of sin (the beast). We also reject any attempts to set dates on any of these future events since only God knows the timing, and he will not reveal it to man through any vision, dream or other form of Revelation.
The period of great tribulation will immediately precede the millennial kingdom of Jesus Christ, and the return of Jesus to earth will result in the end of the rule of the beast and the false prophet, and they will be thrown alive into the lake of fire by Jesus. Along with the destruction of these two individuals during the second Advent, there will be a great battle at Armageddon which will result in the death of many wicked individuals removing the armies of the wicked from this world until the completion of the millennial kingdom when Satan will be released from a place of bondage imposed by Jesus, and Satan will once again stir up mankind to militarily fight against Jesus.
The return of Jesus to earth will result in many changes including peace on the earth, great food production from agriculture, longer human life, carnivorous animals becoming herbivores, and the suppression of wicked intentions by the unsaved. Jesus will rule over the nations with a rod of iron so that peace will completely dominate the entire world, and the armies of man will be completely dismantled.
After the end of the 1000-year millennial kingdom of Christ, the heavens and earth will be entirely consumed by fire, and Jesus will create an entirely new heaven and earth that will have no end. The saints of God will live in this kingdom for all eternity while the wicked spend eternity in the lake of fire as the just punishment for their wickedness.