Historic Premillennialism1

By Wick Bromall

Dispensational Premillennialism and classic Historic Premillennialism are two very different systems of eschatology:

The general attitude of older premillennialism was on the whole mild and reverent in its approach to Scripture. There have been some outstanding scholars who have been persuaded that the premillennial is the correct view. In contrast, Dispensationalism has assumed a far more dogmatic attitude. It has introduced a number of novelties in prophetic interpretation that the church never heard of until about a century ago3.

Summary Chart
Dispensational vs. Historic Premillennialism

Dispensational Premillennialism
Historic Premillennialism


The church is hardly, if at all, in the Old Testament prophets.

The church was foreseen in Old Testament prophecy.


The great burden of Old Testament prophecy is the kingdom of the Jews.

Old Testament prophecies are primarily about the coming of Christ to die (at the first advent) and the kingdom age (at the second advent).


The earthly kingdom should have been set up at the first advent, for that was the predicted time of its coming.

The first advent was the specific time for Christ to die for man's sin.


The present age was unforeseen in the Old Testament and thus is a ``great parenthesis'' introduced because the Jews rejected the kingdom.

The present age of grace was designed by God and predicted in the Old Testament.


Time is usually divided into seven dispensations. The present age is the sixth such dispensation.

One may divide time in any way desirable so long as one allows for a millennium after the second advent.


The second advent will be in two sections - ``the rapture'' and ``the revelation.'' Between these two events is the unfulfilled 70th week (seven years) of Daniel 9:23-27, called ``the great tribulation.''

The second advent will be one event.


No sign precedes the ``rapture stage'' of the second advent, which may occur ``at any moment.'' However, signs will precede the ``revelation stage'' of the second advent.

Certain signs must precede the second advent.


There will be a resurrection of ``tribulation saints'' at the ``revelation stage'' of the second advent.

There are two resurrections - the righteous before the millennium, the unrighteous after the millennium.


Usually holds to the ``futurist'' view, which makes most of Revelation a literal description of events to take place during ``the great tribulation'' or Daniel's 70th week.

Usually holds the ``historical symbolic'' view of Revelation - a picture in symbolic form of the main events in the present age.

[1] Quoted from: THE BIBLE AND THE FUTURE by Dr. Wick Broomall

[2] Note: Dr. Broomall uses the term 'older premillennialism' to mean "Historic Premillennialism"

[3] Referring to Darby 'discoverimg' the pretrib rapture in the early 19th century..