The foundation for the premillennial doctrine is the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The land was promised to Abraham and his descendants. Acts 7:5 says, "He (God) gave him no inheritance here, not even a foot of ground. But God promised him that he and his descendants after him would posses the land, even though at that time Abraham had no child." The land was promised to Abraham, but as Hebrews 11:13 says of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, "All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance." So the promise of the land to Abraham has clearly not been fulfilled by God yet. In Matthew 22:23-33, Jesus refutes the Sadducees and proves the fact of the resurrection by saying, "Have you not read what God said to you, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob'? He is not the God of the dead but of the living." The significance of this statement is that it refers to the promises to Abraham (Isaac and Jacob also) that they would dwell in the land. Since they died without receiving the land, the resurrection from the dead has to happen for God to keep his promise. This is the foundation for the earthly kingdom of Jesus in which Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will then dwell in the land. Only by the use of the allegorical method of interpretation and the "spiritualization" of scripture can this truth be misunderstood.

Thank you for your question. While I do not agree with your interpretation, you do make a good case. Joshua 21:43 indicates that the land promise was fulfilled. We are urged to imitate the faith of those in whose lifetimes the promises were not fulfilled, but this is not to say that they were not fulfilled subsequently. May I suggest you read Jim McGuiggan's The Kingdom of God and the Planet Earth (recommended elsewhere at this website)? There is another (very different) way to approach this matter.

As for the foundations of premillennialism, I believe there are more:
* Taking the millennium of Revelation 20 literally.
* (Originally) understanding world history as falling into six 1000-year periods, four before Christ (from the creation in 4004), two in the "church age," followed by the final millennial reign of Christ in Jerusalem.
* A fusing of church and state which, while appropriate during most of the span of O.T. history, is no longer appropriate (John 6:15).

The big lesson for all of us in this is reiterated in Hebrews (6:12, 11:39-40, etc). We live in a "gimme" generation. We have fast food and fast cars and we want fast blessings, too. The patriarchs show us to trust in the Lord, even when long periods of time elapse during which, to the unbelieving eye, he does not appear to be faithful to his promises.

This article is copyrighted and is for private use and study only. © 2005. Reprints or public distribution is prohibited without the express consent of Douglas Jacoby.