Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 3, 1951

Mark Against Premillennialism -- Concluded

N. W. Allphin, Tahoka, Texas

This article concludes what I purposed to bring from Mark's testimony relative to the doctrines of premillennialists. My comment has not been elaborate, nor have I argued any point extensively. In fact, it seemed unnecessary to do much more than lay before the readers some plain statements from Mark, and follow with the usual contentions of futurists. As the contrast is easily seen, there remained little need for argument. However, before I finish this essay, I may pay further attention to some points previously noted.

The things foretold in Mark 13:12, 13 all happened in the tragic period about which he continues to speak throughout the chapter. Surely no one should think the warnings in verses 14-19, even through 23, apply to peoples of this age, or to the future. The "abomination of desolation" is not future. Only those in Judea were told to flee to the mountains; and that was in order for them to be out of the war zones that they might escape the impending desolation coming upon the house of Israel. (See Luke 13:35) It could be of but little value to further discuss the meaning of verses 24-29, because verse 30 says "all" this should be accomplished before the then present generation passed away. That is plain; why argue about it? Next, Mark 14:21 says, "The Son of man goeth, even as it is written of him." Then he says in verse 27: "All ye shall be offended; for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered abroad." Do you ask, what bearing have these scriptures on the premillennial question? The answer will come presently, but first let us consider briefly the position assumed by "future kingdom" advocates. Principal ones among them say that God's original plan provided not for the death of Jesus, but rather that he should remain alive and be set in authority as king over a temporal kingdom; that he was to inaugurate a system of peace and unity among earthly governments—a sort of world wide Utopia. If that were true, the crucifixion of Christ is not only the most tragic event of world history, but also furnishes a glaring example of the triumph of human potency over the omnipotence of Deity! Do premillennialists believe that? If the Jews, with Pilate's help, circumvented Jehovah's decree then man, the creature, is more powerful than God, the Creator! Are the futurists ready to accept that conclusion? Quien sabe? So, here is how the above Quoted scriptures affect the Question: They teach, beyond any doubt, that it was foreknown and foretold in the prophets that Jesus should be betrayed for a price, and be smitten to death, and that his sheen (disciples) should lose hope, and be scattered abroad. (See Matt. 26:56. also 21:3) In this connection, read Zech. 11:12 and 13:7. There are, of course, many more prophecies of Christ's birth, life and death; and all easy to understand if we start right. More, if God said Jesus should die, and it happened that he didn't, then prophecy is false; and if God said he should continue to survive, yet he was killed, then God's word was powerless—not to be trusted. Premillennialism is stuck fast on this proposition, regardless of which horn of the dilemma is chosen. In any event, the angel Gabriel said. "No word from God shall be void of power." And doubtless he knew.

There remains for our present study one verse reference to the kingdom question. It is Mark 15:43, and reads thus: "There came Joseph of Arimathaea, a counselor of honorable estate, who also himself was looking for the kingdom of God." From this we can only learn that the kingdom (which Jesus and his apostles had said was "at hand.") had not then been made manifest. But this could not warrant the belief that the kingdom is still future, because many other texts (some of which have been cited) clearly establish the fact that it did exist in the first century A. D. From here I shall return to further discuss some points previously mentioned.

First, in reference to differences of opinion or belief expressed by various leaders in premillennialism, it appears plain to me that such is the direct result of too wide a reading of men's explanations (?) of Daniel and other prophets and The Revelation, and too little real, unprejudiced study of just the Bible. I cannot deal with many of these points of difference now (their number is legion), but will cite two or three as samples: One writer said that Genesis alone has eighteen references to Christ's second coming; but most of them do not believe that, because anybody who can read knows that the question is not once mentioned in Genesis. Again, one has told us that the book of Revelation is a supplement to the New Testament, containing matter not given in other books; and many do not believe that. And earnest Bible students must acknowledge that if it contains gospel matter other than that Paul preached (though brought by an angel) it is not true, and they who so preach shall be accursed. (Gal. 1:7-9) Some of them say that the seven churches of Asia represent seven epochs of church history—seven periods of the "church age;" while others say these represent seven world cycles or epochs of world history. One of them has just as much scripture for his statement as the other. And both of them have exactly none.

Frequently a premillennial writer quotes from another premillennialist in support of an idea, while in the same book from which he quotes his patron saint has expressed an opinion about another facet of the question that he does not accept. In that case, his course is nothing less than trying to prove a point by an impeached witness. I have read several of their books, tracts and sermons, and my own reaction is that about ninety five percent of their differences arise out of propositions about which the Bible has said nothing one way or another. Surely, "the way of the transgressor is hard" to maintain!