Premillennialism

The Ryrie Study Bible contains many explanatory notes which assume that Jesus will return and reign on earth 1000 years.  In its comparison of the various views of the future, all opposing views are dismissed without evidence:

 From the Ryrie Study Bible Index to Principal Subjects:

“Postmillennial interpretation is largely spiritualized with regard to prophecy.  However, Revelation 20 will be fulfilled in the earthly kingdom that is brought in through the church’s efforts.”

 “Amillennial interpretation spiritualizes the promises made to Israel as a nation and says they are fulfilled in the Church.  According to this view, Revelation 20 describes the scene of souls in heaven during the time between the first and second comings of Christ.

 “Premillennialism follows the plain, normal, literal, historical, and grammatical method of interpretation.  Revelation 20 is understood literally.”

The following quotations were taken from the Ryrie Study Bible Index to Principal Subjects in the Notes, under Millennium.  The quotations after the Bible references also are taken verbatim from that index.

From Ryrie:

Psalm 110:3  “The meaning is this: during the Millennium God’s people will voluntarily rally to the Messiah, who will lead them with constantly renewed vigor.”

Psalm 110:5-6  “This will be fulfilled in the campaign of Armageddon, climaxing in the second coming of Christ.”

 Problems with the Ryrie interpretation:

This Psalm is quoted often in the New Testament, so the timing of its application should be taken from there.  In Acts 2:35, Peter has Jesus already sitting at the right hand of God, so Psalm 110:1 took place in the first century.  Hebrews 8:1 has the same reference.  Hebrews 10:12-13 is very specific on this timing.  1 Peter 3:22 addresses the same scene.  So, Psalm 110:1-2 are definitely a description of when Jesus returned to heaven in Acts 1.  Verse 4 is quoted in Hebrews 5:6 concerning Jesus’ position as our High Priest.  It is unreasonable that verse 3 jumps at least 2000 years, then back, with no warning to the reader.  Verse 3 must instead describe the volunteering (as opposed to conquest) of the faithful who became the early church.   Further, since verse 4 certainly happened when Jesus returned to heaven, asserting that the context jumps forward at least 2000 years again in verses 5 and 6 is unwarranted.  Instead it describes the calamities of Matthew 24 and Luke 21.  Jesus said these things were “about to take place.”  Premillennialists dodge that line in Luke 21:36 by turning to Matthew 24:34, “this generation will not pass away until all these things take place,” claiming that “generation” means “race,  so the verse is changed to mean that the Jewish race will not pass away until the Millennium is over.

From Ryrie:

Psalm 149:6-9  “These verses look forward to the subjugation of the nations at the establishment of Christ’s millennial kingdom (see notes on Isaiah 54:11-17 and Micah 5:4-15).”

Isaiah 54:11-17  “The full accomplishment of what is described here for Israel awaits the millennial age.”

Micah 5:4-15  “In this section, Micah again describes the glories of the Messianic kingdom [the millennial kingdom]…”

Problems with the Ryrie interpretation:

These passages are assumed to describe a time future to us because the editor asserts that they have not yet been accomplished.  Since no New Testament author quoted Psalm 149, the accomplishment of it cannot be known with certainty.  However, the Psalm is certainly old enough to pre-date at least one military victory by Israel.  Isaiah 54:13 was quoted by Jesus and applied to Himself in John 6:45.  To assign the remainder of the paragraph to a time thousands of years later seems arbitrary.  Further, the claim that this promise has not been accomplished is based on the notion that fortresses of precious jewels have not been noted in history.  Since the middle of the paragraph is certainly about the first century (because Jesus said so), the rest would likely be describing the church.  Since the church is not promised earthly wealth, such riches would be figurative in the church or a millennial kingdom.  Micah 5:2 is quoted in Matthew 2:6 and John 7:42 regarding Jesus birthplace.  Ryrie places a heading above Micah 5:2-3, “His first coming,” and above Micah 5:4-15, “His second coming.”  There seems to be no reasons to break the thought between verses 3 and 4.  In fact, verses 3 and 4 are parallel, “and they will return.”

From Ryrie:

Isaiah 2:2-4  “As in Micah 4:1-5, a description of the millennial kingdom.  God’s government (mountain) will be established over all the kingdoms of this world; Gentiles (nations) and Jews (peoples) will do the will of God; justice and peace will reign.”

Problems with the Ryrie interpretation:

This paragraph is not quoted in the New Testament, so one may apply it to any time without fear of direct contradiction by the Scriptures.  The claim is made that such peace has not been known, therefore the accomplishment is future.  But even the millennial kingdom does not have this kind of literal peace (e.g., Armageddon).  The church has this peace in that the church will not be asked to wage literal war as Israel was.  The Lord has all authority now, but not everyone does what He says.  That will be true forever, although after Judgment the disobedient will be grouped in hell.

From Ryrie:

Isaiah 11:6-9  “Messiah’s reign in the yet future millennial kingdom will be characterized by harmony in the whole creation (Romans 8:18-22).”

Problems with the Ryrie interpretation:

Isaiah 11:1 and 10 are quoted in Romans 15:12 and Revelation 22:16 and applied to Jesus.  The part between also refers to Him.  The peace described here has not happened on this earth.  Neither will it happen in the millennium since it would require that God fundamentally alter the world as we know it (alteration of the nature of carnivores).  But such a change in the animals is not necessary for peace, since the habits of carnivores is not inherently evil.  The fact that people know the Word of God should have no impact on the instinctive behavior of animals.  These are images of peace, not literal descriptions.  Further, such peace will not be known even in the theorized millennium for the reasons given under Isaiah 2:2-4.

 From Ryrie:

Isaiah 12:1-6  “So certain were God’s promises of future blessing for Israel on that future day that Isaiah composed this song of praise in anticipation of the Millennium.”

Problems with the Ryrie interpretation:

The text gives no hint as to Isaiah’s motivation for writing this psalm of praise.  It is not quoted in the New Testament.  Attributing premillennialism to Isaiah is indeed a flight of fancy.  Verse 6 shows that the reason for the exultation is the anticipation of the Messiah.

From Ryrie:

Isaiah 29:17-24  “Another description of millennial blessing”

Problems with the Ryrie interpretation:

The first line of the passage places the accomplishment in the time of Isaiah.  This is in the middle of a series of woes on various groups concerning issues of that time.  There is no hint that the application should suddenly shift.

From Ryrie:

Isaiah 60:1  “This chapter describes the glory of Jerusalem and Israel in the millennial kingdom (including previews seen in the return from Babylon).”

Isaiah 60:5  “The nations (Gentiles) will share in the blessings of the millennial kingdom.”

Isaiah 60:15-22  “Isaiah contrasts the glories of the millennial kingdom with the inglorious condition of Israel before the Exile.  Verse 16 draws on a figure in Deuteronomy 33:19 to show the luxuriant quality of life in the future time.”

Problems with the Ryrie interpretation:

Revelation 3:9, 21:23-26,  and 22:5 borrow lines from this chapter.  However, it would be difficult to say whether John intended to say that his images claimed that predictions by Isaiah were accomplished in Revelation, or if he was merely borrowing similar figures.  If John intended an accomplishment of Isaiah, then Isaiah 60 was accomplished in the church.  Revelation 3:9 is applied to a specific congregation with a specific problem.  Revelation 21 and 22 describe a heavenly Jerusalem.  The portion in Revelation 21:23-24 is in a section concerning the Bride of the Lamb (see verse 9), which in the New Testament is consistently identified as the church.  Premillennial theory would place Revelation 21:1 – 22:5 in heaven, after the millennial reign.  If Revelation 21 and 22 describe heaven, the same description cannot be for the millennial kingdom.

Concerning Isaiah 60, the ancient rabbis were united in applying it to the time of the Messiah (Note:  the understandings of the ancient rabbis are important because a prediction is valid only if the audience understood it to be such.  If no one could guess that a statement were a prediction, then anything could be claimed to be such after the supposed accomplishment.  Perfect accuracy by false prophets would be assured by this method.).  Isaiah 61:1 was quoted by Jesus and applied to Himself as being fulfilled at that moment (not in some future millennial kingdom).  Premillennialists reject the idea that this was fulfilled in the church because they are looking for a literal fulfillment of riches being brought into the Kingdom of God.  But God has not promised earthly riches to the faithful on earth, and earthly riches will be burned up at Judgment.

1 Tim 6:17   “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.”

Rev 3:17-18  ‘Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,  I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire, that you may become rich, and white garments, that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see.

2 Cor 6:10  as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things.

From Ryrie:

Isaiah 61:1-3  “The ministry of the Messiah at His first coming is described in verses 1-2a and at His second coming in verses 2b-3..  In claiming to be Messiah, Jesus Christ read in the synagogue only that which applied to His ministry during His first coming (Luke 4:18-19)”

Isaiah 61:4-11  “A description of conditions in the millennial kingdom.”

Problems with the Ryrie interpretation:

Premillenialists claim that Isaiah 60 and 61:2b-11 are about the millennial kingdom.  Only a verse and a half out of the middle is about the time of Jesus.  There is no indication in the text that such a shift of thousands of years is intended.  The ancient rabbis all agreed that the entire chapter referred to the time of the Messiah.  Jesus’ listeners would have understood Jesus’ remarks in that light.  Jesus would have been unclear to the point of being deceitful if He quoted just the part about His own time and left no indication that the rest was about a much different time.  The language of Isaiah 61:6 is borrowed by John in Revelation 1:6, showing us that that part also was accomplished in the first century.

From Ryrie:

Isaiah 65:17-25  “A description of the millennial kingdom, which is preliminary to the new heavens and the new earth (v. 17).  Characteristics include Jerusalem being a joy instead of a burden (v. 18; cf. Zech 12:2-3), longevity (Isa. 65:20, notice that sin will be punished in the Millennium), peace and security (vv. 21-23), and removing of the animosity in nature (v. 25; cf. 11:7-9).”

Problems with the Ryrie interpretation:

The ancient rabbis agreed that this section referred to the time of the Messiah.  John borrowed the language of verse 17 for Revelation 21:4.  The behavior of the animals in verse 25 is clearly a figure of speech for peace.  Animals have no animosity and do not do evil.  They simply act according to the way they were made by God.  Carnivores are not evil because they kill in order to live.  The promise of longevity certainly does not refer to heaven (where there is no death), and Christians are not promised long life.  This is also clearly a figure of speech for peace.   Human genetics are not made for lifespans comparable to that of trees (v. 22).  Actually, death to the Christian is an attractive option (Philippians 1:21).  The comment about sin being punished in the Millennium is unsupported by the text.  The only connection of this paragraph to some future paragraph is “new heavens and new earth.”  But it cannot be heaven, since the inhabitants still die, albeit at advanced age.  So it must be before the Judgment.  Premillennialists place it in the Millennial kingdom in which Christians enjoy earthly success.  But the Christians in the New Testament had no such promise and experienced poverty, persecution, and artificially foreshortened lifespans as a result of their faith.

From Ryrie:

Isaiah 66:7-9  “At the second coming of Christ, all living Israelites will be saved (Rom. 11:26; Zech. 12:10; 13:1).”

Isaiah 66:10-14  “A description of the millennial age.”

Isaiah 66:15-17  “A vivid picture of the Judgments at the return of Christ (2 Thess. 1:7-9).”

Isaiah 66:18-21  “This section gives details of missionary witness during the Millennium to …”

Problems with the Ryrie interpretation:

The first verse of Isaiah 66 was quoted by Stephen in Acts 7:49-50, pointing out that it referred to the time of Isaiah.  Later in the chapter, at verse 18, the author gives a distinct signal that he is changing time periods by saying, “The time is coming to gather all nations and tongues.”  Since no New Testament writer used verses 7 through 21, an application cannot be found with absolute certainty.  However, John borrowed the image of verses 7 through 9 for Revelation 12:5 which is clearly the birth of the church.

Ryrie makes an unsupported assertion about Romans 11:26, that all living Israelites will be saved.  Hopefully, he does not mean that they will be forced into heaven against their will.  The claim that all Israelites will be saved is very fanciful, and allows the Premillennialist to place lots of passages in the future because it is obvious that every Jew in the world has not become a Christian.  But Paul’s line, “all Israel will be saved,” surely cannot be taken genetically.  How much Jewish blood must one have to qualify?  So who are these Israelites who will be saved?  They are the same ones as earlier in the chapter in the illustration of the broken branches in verses 16-24.  They were broken off for their unbelief (even though they loved God the Father).  But, as Paul writes in verse 23, they can be grafted in again if they believe (that Jesus is the Messiah).  The question being answered in Romans 11 concerns faithful Jews who, for whatever reason, failed to believe that Jesus is the Messiah.  Paul assures his readers that this is all according to plan, that this situation will not be permanent, that their unbelief was designed to force the gospel messengers to go to the Gentiles.  Then, the faithful Jews will believe.  A great many priest became believers in Acts 6:7, but that is too early to meet Paul’s prediction.  Historically, a great many Jews turned to Christianity after the fall of Jerusalem.

Ryrie cites Zechariah 12:10 in support of a Millennial Kingdom, but John 19:37 applies it directly to the spear thrust into Jesus side.  Zechariah 13:1 is in the same context (In that day…).  Every rabbi understood these to apply to the time of the Messiah.

The passage in 2 Thessalonians 1 is often applied by Premillennialists to their future kingdom, but the passage itself does not hint of an earthly kingdom headed by Jesus.  Once that kingdom is supposed, many passages can be made to fit the theory, but the theory is not suggested by the passages.  This particular reference will be handled in more detail as we address the New Testament references cited by Ryrie.

From Ryrie:

Daniel 2:35  “the stone . . . filled the whole earth.  To refer this to the first coming of Christ and the victory of the Gospel in the whole world is contrary to such verses as Matt. 13:24-30, 36-43, and 2 Timothy 3:1-13.  It is a reference to the future millennial kingdom of Christ.”

Daniel 2:42  “the toes.  Explained in verse 44 as ten kings (for kingdoms) that will exist concurrently at the time God sets up His kingdom at the second coming of Christ (7:24).  The present age of the church is omitted in the vision (not an unusual phenomenon, cf. Isaiah 61:1-2).”

Daniel 7:24  “The final form of the Roman world power will be a confederation of 10 nations who will arise simultaneously in the Tribulation days.”

Problems with the Ryrie interpretation:

Daniel gave the interpretation in verses 36 through 45.  He placed the date firmly in the history of that time.  Nebuchadnezzar was identified as the head of gold.  The other kingdoms were the direct successors.  The kingdom of God is identified as crushing the fourth successor.  The application of the kingdoms must be completely reworked to have just four before the Kingdom of God appears.  Oddly, Ryrie’s other footnotes on that page acknowledge that the four kingdoms before the Kingdom of God are Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome.  To be his Millennial Kingdom,  the Kingdom of God must somehow affect these empires which have been gone for many centuries.  In chapter 7, he requires that the Roman Empire be resurrected before the Millennium can take place.  This is the foundation of the “One World Government” theories and was behind the religious opposition to both the League of Nations and the United Nations.

Matthew 13:24-30 contains the parable of the wheat and the tares.  The Millennial Kingdom is not in view at all.  The explanation in verses 36-43 describes Judgment Day.  No thousand year period is even hinted. 2 Timothy 3:1-13 describes the same situation as in the parable, but without the story.  There, the “last days” describe the entire era of the church.

If Isaiah’s vision jumped from the time of Isaiah to the Millennial kingdom without mentioning the time of the Messiah, it must have been very confusing for the Jews before Jesus time.  However, Isaiah 61:1-2 was quoted by Jesus to refer to himself at the time when He said it, so it cannot refer to a later time.

From Ryrie:

Daniel 9:24  “…to make atonement for iniquity.  Refers to the death of Christ on the cross, which is the basis for Israel’s future forgiveness (Zech. 12:10; Rom. 11:26-27). to bring in everlasting righteousness.  In the millennial kingdom of Messiah (Jer. 23:5-6); to seal up vision and prophesy.  To set God’s seal of fulfillment on all the prophesies concerning the Jewish people and Jerusalem.  to anoint the Holy Place.  The anointing of the Holy of Holies in the millennial Temple.

Daniel 9:26  “…Since these events were to occur after the 69 weeks had run their course and before the seventieth week began, there must be a space of time between the conclusion of the sixty-ninth week and the beginning of the seventieth.”

Problems with the Ryrie interpretation:

In order to fit the Millennial Kingdom into prophecy, gaps must be arbitrarily inserted.  Ryrie applies the first 69 weeks as 69 times 7 years and finds exact fulfillments for each item beginning with the return from the exile to the death of Jesus (which was from 536 BC to 30 AD).  Ryrie counts exactly 483 years (although it was 565 years).  According to Ryrie, the last week will be at least two thousand years later.  But Jesus quoted verse 27 and applied it to the destruction of Jerusalem which was to happen near to Jesus’ time (Luke 21:36; Matthew 24:34).

Zechariah 12:10 and Romans 11:26-27 have been described previously.

From Ryrie:

Daniel 10:14  “the latter days.  Future days culminating in the event surrounding the second coming of Christ (cf. Gen 49:1; Dan. 2:28).”

Problems with the Ryrie interpretation:

In the predictions of Daniel which follow, the nations of Persia, Greece, and Egypt are named specifically.   Ryrie applies all of the predictions from 11:1 through 35 to events from the time of Alexander the Great to the time of the Maccabees.  Suddenly and without warning, according to Ryrie, the scene jumps over the time of Jesus to His second coming and the Millennial Kingdom.

Genesis 49:1 and Daniel 2:28 each contain words concerning events which were future to the speakers.  Since each verse says it refers to the future, Ryrie assumes that they are future to us rather than future to the writers.  Genesis 49 is Jacob’s prophecies concerning his sons.  Daniel 2:28 begins Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.

From Ryrie:

Daniel 11:36  “This section gives details of Antichrist’s future career.  Though some refer the section entirely to Antiochus, the scope also requires reference to some details of Israel’s last days (10:14 and 12:1-2).”

Problems with the Ryrie interpretation:

The text gives no hint that Daniel intended for his prophecy to be applied to periods of time which were thousands of years apart.  The reference to 10:14 in included to pick up the phrase “the latter days.”  The reference to 12:1-2 follows.

From Ryrie:

Daniel 12:1  “at that time.  The time of the events of 11:36-45, the Great Tribulation.  Michael.  See note on 10:13.  such as never occurred. Cf. Jesus words in Matt. 24:21.”

Daniel 12:2  “The verse predicts the resurrection of the righteous at the second coming of Christ (Rev. 20:4-6), and also of the wicked (though this resurrection does not occur at the same time, but after the Millennium; Rev. 20:5).”

Daniel 12:4  “seal up the book.  Not that the meaning was to be left unexplained, but that the book was to be kept intact so as to help those living in the future Tribulation days.  many will go back and forth.  As the end approaches, people will travel about seeking to discover what the future holds.”

Daniel 12:7  “The events of the Tribulation will be consummated when the three and one-half times (the last 3 1/2 years of that 7-year period) come to a close.  These last 3 1/2 years constitute the Great Tribulation  (cf. Matt. 24:21).”

Daniel 12:11  “the abomination of desolation.  At the mid-point of the Tribulation week, Antichrist will abolish the Jewish sacrifices (9:27, Matt. 24:15; 2 Thess. 2:4).  From that time to the end will be 1290 days.  Normally, 3 1/2 years (of 360 days per year) would include only 1260 days.  The extra 30 days  mentioned here allow for the judgments which will take place after the second coming of Christ (see notes on Ezek. 20:33-44, Joel 3:2-3; Matthew 25:32).”

Daniel 12:12  “Since the one who lives 75 days after the second advent (1335 days from the mid-point of the Tribulation) is called blessed, this must mark the beginning of the actual functioning of Christ’s millennial kingdom.”

Problems with the Ryrie interpretation:

Without the assumption of a great gap in Daniel’s prophecy, the Great Tribulation cannot be invented.  The reference to 10:13 is only to note another description of Michael.  The reference to Matthew 24:21 does describe the same events as described by Daniel.  Unfortunately, Jesus places the accomplishment of these events in His own time in Matthew 24:34.  Premillennialists dispose of the Matthew reference by insisting that “this generation” means “this race.”  However, following the parallel account where the same “this generation” line appears in Luke 22:32, Jesus explains the meaning in Luke 22:36 by saying, “These things that are about to take place.”

The resurrection predicted in Daniel 12:2 is recorded in Matthew 27:52.

The command to Daniel to “seal up” the book did mean to leave it unexplained.  Jesus explained it in the Gospels.  The “end of time” was the end of the Jewish era, the time of Jesus.  If Daniel intended for the “end of time” to mean Judgment Day, then the prophecy would be a mystery until it was too late to help anyone.

Jesus quoted Daniel 12:11 and applied it to his own generation (Matthew 24:15, Mark 13:14), not thousands of years in the future.

Ryrie’s mathematics leave something to be desired concerning the 1290 days.

The Jewish sacrifice was abolished when the Temple was destroyed in 70 AD  To place Daniel 12 in the future to us requires that the Temple be rebuilt.

Ezekiel 20:33-44 refers to the Babylonian Captivity.  The prophecy begins in verse 1, not verse 33.  Reading the whole message reveals the context.  Ezekiel was writing after Babylon had deported two groups of Israelites, but before the destruction of the city.  These events came to pass about 60 years after this.

Joel 3:2-3 was quoted by Peter in Acts 2:17-21and applied to the events visible to the audience at that moment.  Ryrie claims that Peter was referring to the Great Tribulation, thousands of years in the future.

Matthew 25:32 does refer to the Judgment of people, ending in heaven or hell.  No Tribulation appears in Matthew 25.

The calculation of the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom is at best fanciful.

From Ryrie:

Hosea 14:4-8  “These verses speak of the future blessing of Israel in the Millennium.”

Problems with the Ryrie interpretation:

The context does not support this conclusion.

From Ryrie:

Joel 3:18  “in that day.  The day of Messiah’s reign in His earthly millennial kingdom.”

Problems with the Ryrie interpretation:

The context does not support this conclusion.

From Ryrie:

Amos 9:13-15  “The millennial kingdom will be characterized by fertility, prosperity, and security, with Israel permanently possessing the land promised in Genesis15:18-21.”

 Problems with the Ryrie interpretation:

James quoted the verses just before this in Acts 15:16-17 and applied them to his own time.  The promise in Genesis 15 does not promise that Abraham’s descendants will have the land permanently, only that they would get it.  Their later history shows that God took it from them on several occasions because they broke the covenant.

From Ryrie:

Matthew 24:3 “…In this discourse, Jesus answered two of the three questions the disciples asked.  He does not answer, ‘When will these things be?’  He answers ‘what will be the sign of your coming?’ in vv. 29-31 and He speaks of the signs of the end of the age in vv. 4-28.  Verses 4-14 list characteristics ofthe first half of the tribulation period, while vv. 15-28 deal with the second half.”

Matthew 24:14  “this gospel of the kingdom.  This is the good news that will be preached during the tribulation days concerning the coming of Messiah and the setting up of His kingdom.”

Matthew 24:15  “abomination of desolation.  This is the man of sin (2 Thess. 2:4), the Antichrist, who at the midpoint of the tribulation breaks his covenant with the Jewish people (Daniel 9:27) and demands that they and the world worship him.  Those who resist will be persecuted and many will be martyred; that is the reason for the urgency of the instruction in vv. 16-22.”

Matthew 24:23  “no life = no human being.  the elect.  Those redeemed during the tribulation days.  The elect of this age (the Church) will have been translated before that time begins.”

Matthew 24:34  “this generation.  No one living when Jesus spoke these words lived to see ‘all these things’ come to pass.  However, the Greek word can mean ‘race’ or ‘family.’ which makes good sense here; i.e., the Jewish race will be preserved, in spite of terrible persecution, until the Lord comes.”

Problems with the Ryrie interpretation:

Jesus answered the three questions He was asked.  The text gives no hint that Jesus arbitrarily omitted one answer.  It is necessary for Ryrie to assert that Jesus did not tell when these things would be in order to place them well in the future.  Jesus answered the question in verse 34.

Ryrie assumes that the kingdom now (the church) and the kingdom later will be fundamentally different.  The New Testament gives no hint that such a division is intended.  Paul considered himself and the Christians in Colossae to be in the kingdom when he wrote, “For He delivered us from the domain of darkness to the kingdom of His beloved Son.”  (Colossians 1:13)  The kingdom will continue uninterrupted into eternity.  Its throne will remain in heaven.

The abomination of desolation is the Roman army, as clearly stated in Luke 21:20.  The man of sin, the Antichrist, is not one person, but anyone who claims that Jesus is not the Messiah, as explained by John in 1 John 2:18-22.  Many antichrists had arisen by the time John wrote.

Ryrie assumes that the elect will have been removed from this earth at the beginning of this period of difficulty in verse 22.  However, in verse 24, the elect are still present.  Premillennialists focus on the words “if possible” in verse 24, claiming that it is not possible since they had been removed from the earth.

Luke repeats the “this generation” line in Luke 21:32, but explains that they are about to take place in Luke 21:36.    The Greek word of generation is genea.  If this word means race or family here, it would be the only occasion among the many times it was used in the New Testament.  The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, the most reputable reference in these matters, does not support Ryrie’s contention.

From Ryrie:

2 Thessalonians 2:1  “…our gathering together.  A reference to the rapture of the church (1 Thessalonians 4:13-16).”

2 Thessalonians 2:2  “…the man of lawlessness is an individual of the future who will come to power during the tribulation days.  John also recognized the presence of many antichrists in his time (1 John 2:18) as well as the coming of one great Antichrist in the future (Rev. 11:7, 13:1-10)”

2 Thessalonians 2:4  “takes his seat in the temple of God.  At the midpoint of the tribulation period the Antichrist will descecrate the rebuilt Jewish temple in Jerusalem…”

Problems with the Ryrie interpretation:

The paragraph in 2 Thessalonians 2:1 uses the words “the coming of the Lord,” but the context does not mention anything about Jesus setting up a kingdom on earth.

Neither Revelation 11:7 nor 13:1-10 mentions the antichrist of 2 Thessalonians or 1 John.  Both passages describe a beast who obtains power from the serpent (Satan).  This beast gains great earthly power and persecutes the church.

Note that Ryrie believes that the temple in Jerusalem must be rebuilt before the end can come.  Thus, he is preaching “peace and safety” until that time (1 Thessalonians 5:3).

From Ryrie:

Revelation 20:2  “a thousand years.  Since the Latin equivalent for these words is ‘millennium,’ this period of time is called the millennium.  It is the time when Christ will reign on earth (Isa. 2:3, Dan. 7:14, Zech 14:9).   Satan will not be free to work (Rev. 20:2), righteousness will flourish (Isa. 11:3-5), peace will be universal (Isa. 2:4), and the productivity of the earth will be greatly increased (Isa. 35:1-2).  At the conclusion of the time Satan will be loosed to make one final attempt to overthrow Christ, but without success.”

Revelation 20:5  “The rest of the dead.  The wicked will be raised and judged after the millennium.  The first resurrection.  Refers back to the end of v. 4.  This resurrection includes all the righteous (the resurrection of life, John 5:29, and the resurrection of the righteous, Luke 14:14), who will be raised before the millennium begins.

Problems with the Ryrie interpretation:

First, we must remember that the author believed that all the things in his book were to take place shortly to him (Revelation 1:1, 1:3, 12:12, 22:6, 22:7, 22:10, 22:12, and 22:20).   John believed that he was in the tribulation (Revelation 1:9).

The thousand years is an indefinite period.  The paragraph is full of figures of speech (the key, chain, and abyss).  The thousand years (indefinite period) is the time between the beginning of the kingdom, the church, and Judgment.  Satan is bound because he can no longer roam freely about the earth.  Neither are there demons on this earth during this period (Zechariah 13:2).