Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

King James AV1611


The Millennium
The Millennium Series was taught by Dr. James Modlish

Lesson Two

The Interpretation of The Scriptures


Last session we end with five very important questions, in fact coupling these five principles with two others, Dispensational Truth, and the Absolute infallibility of our A.V. 1611, you have the keys to understanding God's Holy Word.

Let us address the first question; is the Bible to be interpreted literally or allegorically?

Hermeneutics is the study of Biblical Interpretation. If literal interpretation is correct, then the premillennial viewpoint is undoubtedly correct. Floyd E. Hamilton an A-millennialist in his book The Basis of Millennial Faith writes, "Now we must frankly admit that a literal interpretation of the Old Testament prophecies gives us just such a picture of an earthly reign of the Messiah as the Premillennialist pictures... the Jews were looking for just such a Kingdom as that expected by those Premillennialist who speak of the Jews holding a preeminent place in an earthly Jewish Kingdom to be set up by the Messiah in Jerusalem."

Allow me to interject, one of the greatest proofs of the pre-mil position is the existence of Israel today!

The major problem with deciding whether literal or allegorical interpretation is demanded by scripture is complicated by the fact that neither the a-mil or pre-mil will admit that all of the Bible is to be interpreted literally or figuratively. For example, Jesus said, "I am the door," Jesus did not have a doorknob and hinges, this is figurative speaking. Where do you draw the line? The safe rule is take everything in the Bible literally until the context forces you to a figurative interpretation.

The allegorical method of interpretation, as developed by Origen, was one of the factors that helped produce the Dark Ages. The pre-mil believes that the Book of Revelation gives a description of literal events that will take place during the Great Tribulation. The a-mil believes that the book was written to encourage the early Christians who were passing through a great time of persecution.

The problem with the allegorical interpretation lies in two main areas:

[1]. Where do you stop allegorizing?;

[2]. What do you use as a reference point to prove your interpretation if everything is symbolic?


The Reformers used the Literal Method

It was not until the Reformation that sound biblical exegesis was produced.

William Tyndale said, "Thou shalt understand, therefore, that the scripture hath but one sense, which is the literal sense. And that literal sense is the root and ground of all, and the anchor that never faileth, whereunto if thou cleave, thou canst never err or go out of the way. And if thou leave the literal sense, thou canst not go but out of the way."

Martin Luther said, "Every word should be allowed to stand in its' natural meaning ..."

John Calvin said, "Let us know then, that the true meaning of Scripture is the natural and obvious meaning, and let us embrace and abide by it resolutely.”

Again the rule is interpret all scripture literally unless the context dictates otherwise.

Read: (Rev. 20:1-10, note verses 2,3,4,5,6,7).

If this chapter is to be interpreted in a literal manner, it is so simple that any child can understand the meaning, but when an allegorical meaning is attached to these words no two commentators agree. The problem is then there is no reference point to prove interpretation. There certainly is much symbolism within the Book of Revelation but to allegorize the whole of it away leaves the Book a 'sore thumb' in the Bible. What is its' purpose? How about the many cross references to Daniel and many other Old Testament books? Are they to be allegorized to? What then do we find ourselves left with?

The a-mil, very foolishly, tries to tell us that the twentieth chapter of Revelation is the only place the millennium is mentioned. It is true that this is the only place where the specific length of time, 1000 years, is mentioned, but let us look at some other Biblical passages that describe the Millennium:

(Lk. 1:68-77) What were the Jews looking for? (Acts 1:6)
(See: Psa. 72:1-19; Isa. 2:1-5; Isa. 11:1-12; Isa. 35:1-10; Jer. 23:5-8) 

The Second major question we asked in Lesson One was, "Are the biblical covenants conditional or unconditional?"

The major biblical covenants are as follows:

[1]. The Edenic Covenant made before the fall (Gen. 1:26-31). In it God's blessing on is conditional Adam's obedience. It is one of two conditional covenants.

[2]. The Adamic Covenant made after the fall (Gen. 3:16-19), in it God tells Adam of the consequences his sin.

[3]. The Noahic Covenant, made with Noah and his sons after the flood. (Gen. 9:1-17) Under this covenant human government was established.

[4]. The Abrahamic Covenant in a large measure provides the foundation for the correct interpretation of the prophetic scriptures. Abraham has a spiritual seed and a physical seed. Much confusion comes when one tries to make both one.

[5]. The Mosaic Covenant, the second conditional covenant, was terminated at the cross.

[6]. The Palestinian Covenant deals with Israel's final possession of the land of Canaan, Deut. 30:1-10. This is intertwined with the land grant of the Abrahamic covenant, but separate in that the first (Abrahamic) deals with the people, the second (Palestinian) deals with the place.
[7]. The Davidic Covenant, (2 Sam. 7:4-16), deals with a particular house and tribe within the nation Israel.
[8]. The New Covenant started in (Jer. 31:31-40) and found in (Heb. 8:8-12). Specifically aimed at Israel.

The pre-mil teaches that the Abrahamic, Palestinian Davidic and New Covenants are unconditional covenants of grace; the a-mil teaches that all are conditional. 

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