Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 7, 1952
NUMBER 39, PAGE 6,11d

"Premillennlalism" Vs. Principles -No. 2

Orville Brittell, N. Rhodesia, Africa

To get the gospel to the African there is and always has been a great need for more workers. We have prayed and are praying to the Lord of harvest for mere reapers. When he saw fit to send forth the Reeses, Shewmaker., brother Echols, Foy Shorts, the Reeds, my parents, the Hooks, Wards, Phillips, Vernon Lawyer, Caskeys, Millers, Hardins, brother Bailey, Pierces, etc., we thanked God for more to help in the great task of trying to get the gospel to these people. I have tried to help each in turn as they have some in every way that I could as a Christian. They were all new workers—and I was once a new worker, homesick and in a strange land. I was facing a strange work, a strange people and a strange language. I will always remember the kindness that was shown me by the Scotts and others in those early days and the problems I faced during that period of re-adjustment. And because of this debt of gratitude, I am going to always try to do all I can to help every new worker that the Lord of Harvest sees fit to allow to come across through that period of re-adjustment. Yes, whenever new worker comes, there are Permits of Entry to be gotten, housing to be arranged for, often times a shortage of funds, furniture, etc. And then there is also that desire to be out and doing. Yes, I have tried to use my old truck at every opportunity possible to take any and all workers out on village trips at every opportunity possible. There is so much preaching that needs to be done, so many villages where Christians need to be visited, schools that need to be inspected, and untouched regions that need to be evangelized and nothing brings more joy to most new workers than getting out and helping in this way.

One of the longest and most enjoyable trips that I have ever made was the trip down into the Gweembe Valley in company with brother Hobby, Foy Short, brother Shewmaker, brother Echols, brother Reed, and Stanford. Another similar trip was taken with brethren Caskey, Echols, Hardin, Bailey and Short. On these trips as at all times, I preached to the people and showed them pictures of the life of Christ. I proclaimed Christ and him crucified and reasoned with them of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come. Then as always, I sold portions of God's word and exhorted those who had become Christians to read and study it. Christ was the burden of my message because Christ and his cleansing Mood is the only thing that can free these people from their superstition, witchcraft and heathen standards of honesty and morality. To date I have yet to be accused by any of these brethren as being a propagator of any kind of ism. To date I have yet to be called by any of my fellow-workers for teaching anything that is not according to the Bible. During the whole of the time brother Reed was here in N. R. with us he never once asked me anything regarding my position on the kingdom. If I stand at fault, or if I was teaching heresy, why did he not while he was here study through the question with me and set me right on it? If according to his reasoning my taking brother Phillips out on a village trip for a week when he first came makes me a "premillennialist," I am three times over a "post-millennialist," because I took him out for three weeks. No, it was not because I sympathized with either "position" that I took them out—it was because of an underlying principle. I felt that both he and brother Phillips were extremists on certain points. And I felt that if anything would help to correct that condition, hard constructive work would. Yea, it was in spite of differences, yea, rather an earnest effort to clear up the bitterness in their hearts and bring about a spirit of love and understanding—a united front—that it was done. Bitterness among Christians is bad in the Lord's work anywhere. But there is no place bitterness among workers is more harmful than here in Africa. Africans love factions—they knew how to walk past their enemies, gossip and backbite long before missionaries came--what they need is someone to show them how to overcome such conditions—not excite and encourage them. And the Day of Judgment will show this to be true.

Had brother Reed asked me if I were a "premillennialist" or "a premillennialist sympathizer' 'I would have told him, "No, I am not a 'premillennialist; a 'post-pre-millennialists and God helping me I will never be an 'ist' of any kind." Had brother Reed asked me if I believed that the kingdom was established on the day of Pentecost, I would have answered in the affirmative and given Col. 1:13 as the basis for my belief. Had he asked me if believed that the Jews or any one else would be saved in any other way than by believing and obeying the gospel, I would have said, "No." Had he asked me if I believed or teach any theory which holds out a "second-chance," I would have assured him that I do not. Had he asked me if I believed that Abraham put an earthly interpretation on the promise made to him, my answer would have been that I believe that he looked "for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God ... These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earths For they that say such things make it manifest that they are seeking after a country of their own ... But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly wherefore God is not ashamed of them, to be called their God; for he hath prepared for them a city." If he had asked me what I considered to be the Christian's hope, I would have told him that I believe that it is a living hope, an "inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that fadeth not away, and in heaven . . . ready to be revealed in the last day." And I would have likewise told him that I believe that Paul gives further light upon this "mystery of Christ; which in other generations was not made known unto the sons of men, as it hath now been revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; to wit, that the Gentiles are fellow-heirs and fellow-members of the body, and fellow-partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel." Had he asked me what my attitude towards Revelation is, I would have told him that I believe that it is a book which we should all read and study (Rev. 1:3) for I believe that many things are revealed in it which we as Christians need to study. For instance, Paul tells us that the coming of the Lord and our gathering together unto him "will not be except the falling away come first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition he that opposeth and exalteth himself against all that is called God or that is worshipped ... whom the Lord Jesus hath slay with the breath of his mouth and bring to naught by the manifestation of his coming I believe that much information regarding this man of sin is revealed in Revelation and I believe that the present day trend—yea, the open declaration by many "post-premillennialists" that Revelation be skipped or "torn out of the Bible" is most dangerous and is going to result in the downfall of many Christians. Especially do I think that such teaching is harmful on a mission field like this where we come with the plea "We speak where the Bible speaks and are silent where the Bible is silent" yet in the next breath state that we wish Revelation were "torn out of the Bible" because of what is said in Rev. 20:1-6. The African has a few ideas of his own about Bible things like this.

However, I would have likewise pointed out to him that I do not believe that any passage is of private interpretation nor that any scriptural interpretation of Rev. 20:1-6 will disagree with the teaching of Colossians that the kingdom has been established—a theory believed and propagated by so many future kingdom "ists" in denominations today, a theory which belittles Christ, a theory contrary to the plain unfigurative teaching of the N.T., a theory which makes the church—the bride of Christ—nothing more than some makeshift arrangement which became necessary because of some "unforeseen stiffneckness of the Jews. Such is little less than open rejection of the teaching of Ephesians which states that the church is the outcome of God's eternal purpose—purpose of the ages. (Footnote) (To be continued)


Disfellowshipping (A Distinction)

Matthew 18:16-17 discusses the sins of one Christian against another. 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 deals with the duty of a church toward a public, persistent, "black-list" sinner.