Report of the Study Committee: The Millennium [2005]

In answer to a question raised by the Royersford church, Annual Conference formed a committee to re-study our current postition on the Millenial Reign of Christ.

During the year we met four times to study and discuss our task, which we deteremined to be to develop a deeper understanding of the other views, especially amillenialism, and then report back to Annual Conference whether we believe our view of the Millennium to be biblically correct or in error. In the course of discussion many issues were raised. Central among them, it was determined, was a deep look into Hermeneutics. In particular, the issue of how the New Testament interprets the Old was explored and whether we can apply the the Old Testament without confirmation of the writers of the New Testament. Other issues that flowed from these discussions were the Restoration Promises of the Old Testament, and what the Apostles and Jesus wrote and said about the idea of the Millennium. While other minor issues were raised, these were prominent in the discussion, especially hermeneutics. The committee did quite a few very interesting Study Papers, they were as follows:

1. An exegetical paper on the Binding of Satan (a follow up paper was emailed regarding the Defeat of Satan) as found in Matthew 12:28.

2. An exegetical paper on Acts 15, and how James appealed to Amos 9.

3. Hermeneutics – discussed in two different papers, one in particular discussing the implications of a literal method of exegesis in understanding Ezekiel’s prophecy of a rebuilt temple and of a re-instituted Levitical Sacrificial system.

4. The Restoration Promises of the Old Testament.

5. The New Testament’s Use of the Old.

6. A Study of the Day of the Lord and Last Days (presented but not discussed).

During the course of study we developed an extensive bibliography on this subject. These articles and books include:

Articles reviewed:

1. Dr. MacRae’s article on Acts 15

2. Dr. Buswell, Jr.’s article on The Future Kingdom of Christ

3. Dr. McCartney’s article on The New Testament’s Use of the Old

4. Dr. Blooms’ research report on Hosea Chapter 3

5. Dr. Studenroth’s article on God’s Promise of a Millennium

Books Reviews or recommended:

1. Understanding Dispensationalists, by Vern Poythress

2. A Case for Amillennialism, by Kim Riddlebarger

3. The Bible and the Future, by Anthony Hoekema

4. The Last Things, by Herman Bavinck

5. The Promise of the Future, by Cornelis Venema

6. The Kingdom of Christ, by Russle Moore

7. There Really is a Difference, by Renald Showers

8. The Believer’s Payday, by Paul Benware

9. Things to Come, by Dwight Pentecost

10. Israel, the Church and Milleniallism,by Barry E. Horner

With such a large task and issues such as: The NT understanding of the Kingdom and how that relates to eschatology (“Postponed” vs. an “Already, not Yet” scenario, Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit, The significance of the Ascension, The Kingdom of God in light of Acts 1:6), the resurrection of the dead and the judgements, yet to receive significant time in discussion, we recommend that we be allowed to meet one more year before bringing a recommendation to Annual Conference.

Study Committee: The Millennium: Jacob J. Susek, Jr., Chairman; Kevin W. Kirkpatrick, Secretary; Albert J. Dommel; Robert C. Kaatz; John C. Studenroth.

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