Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Millennial Series: Part 3: Amillenniallism in the Ancient Church
Bible. org ^ | 1949 | John F. Walvoord

Posted on 06/29/2014 9:54:35 AM PDT by wmfights

In recent years interest has been revived in the origin of millennial theology. This has been caused, first by the decadence of postmillennialism which seemed to demand a new search for perspective in this field; second, by the popularity of premillennialism with its claim that the early church was premillennial; and, third, by the trend toward more serious Biblical studies—a result of the decline of extreme liberalism. The reduction of millennial theories to only two principal viewpoints—amillennial and premillennial—has tended to simplify the issue and make the millennial argument largely one for or against a literal millennium.

The nature of the arguments bearing on the millennium has also been significant. These have been characterized by: (1) a fresh study of literature of the Fathers to see if it is necessary to concede that the ancient church was premillennial, as had previously been almost universally allowed by all parties; (2) a fresh study of the Scriptures by the amillennialists to defend themselves from the obvious Biblical approach of premillennialists; (3) a more vigorous attack on premillennialism with a view to proving its doctrines dangerous and heretical to orthodox theology as a whole. Many of the significant books in the controversy have come from the pens of amillennialists, and these books in turn are refutations of earlier books of the premillennialists. Of particular interest is the recent restudy of millennialism in the ancient church with the objective of destroying or at least weakening the weighty argument of premillennialists that the ancient church was in sympathy with their viewpoints. that would seem similar to the modern amillennial method while at the same time subscribing to the idea of a coming kingdom on earth to follow the second advent—which is essentially premillennial. It is this factor that has occasioned considerable controversy in recent years and which needs further evaluation. In attempting to trace millennialism in the ancient church, one is faced with many difficulties if all facts are weighed impartially. The voice of the early centuries must be examined, however, not because it is decisive in itself, but because it throws some light on how the early church interpreted the Scriptures themselves. The recent renewed investigation of the available ancient sources with the claimed support for ancient amillennialism is of particular importance to the present study. Amillennialism in the First Century

For most sober students of the Scriptures, the basic question in regard to the millennium is whether the Bible itself teaches decisively one view or the other. For the present discussion we can disregard that form of modern liberalism which might admit that the New Testament taught essentially the principal doctrines of premillennialism but pushes it aside as an error on the part of the apostles. It is assumed here that the New Testament is correct and the problem is not one of inspiration. In other words, is the New Testament as well as the Old premillennial or amillennial? The formal consideration of this question is impossible within reasonable limits. Either view requires an interpretation and harmonization of the entire volume of Scripture to sustain it completely. It may be said, however, that the New Testament bears no record whatever of a millennial dispute. While the early church was concerned over many doctrinal questions, no disputes on this issue are recorded.

The question of the disciples, “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6), occasioned no denial from the Lord Jesus, but merely the reminder that it was not for them to know the “time.” The request of the mother of James and John for preferment of her sons in the kingdom was not refused on the ground that no future earthly kingdom was in prospect, but that the places of honor were reserved for those chosen by the Father (Matt 20:20-23). While the argument from silence is never decisive, Christ also told His disciples, “If it were not so I would have told you” (John 14:2). If no earthly kingdom was in prospect, it seems strange also in view of the prevailing Jewish concept of an earthly kingdom that Christ should tell His disciples, “I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father has appointed unto me; that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Luke 22:29-30). The positive testimony of Revelation 20 with its six references to a reign of Christ on earth for one thousand years while hotly disputed and denied significance by the amillenialists is nevertheless their stubborn foe. These references to the millennial doctrine are at least more than straws in the wind. If the amillennial viewpoint as held in modern times is correct, it would have called for extensive correction of the prevailing idea among the Jews that an earthly kingdom was their Messianic prospect.

Leaving for later discussion the basic problem of Scriptural interpretation, the question remains as to what positive evidence there is for amillennialism in the first century. The question assumes considerable proportions inasmuch as George N. H. Peters lists fifteen advocates of premillennialism for the first century indicated as such outside the Scriptures themselves.3 While some of these no doubt would be disputed by amillennialists, all concede that Papias (80-163), who seems to have been intimate with John the Apostle and Polycarp, was premillennial if we may believe Irenaeus who was a pupil of Polycarp. What can the amillennialists offer in support of the antiquity of amillennialism?

It is not difficult to find claims from amillennialists on the antiquity of their view. Ira D. Landis states flatly, “Jesus and the apostles were Amillennial in their eschatology.”4 His proof for this in his chapter on the history of millennialism is limited to one paragraph which states that Christ opposed Pharisees and that Pharisees were premillennialists; therefore Christ was an amillennialist. Landis ignores the opposition of Christ to Sadducees who were probably amillennial. In his discussion which follows in which he depreciates everyone claimed to be premillennial, the only extra-Biblical proof is that he cites Barnabas as not being premillennial among first century writers. The classification of Barnabas, as we will see, is at present hotly disputed though he has long been considered premillennial. Landis decides the argument in one sentence: “The epistle ascribed to Barnabas is not Premillennial as is claimed, but decidedly anti-Judaistic.”5

Other amillennial writers who are more objective in their scholarship seem to have nothing more to suggest than that the testimony of Barnabas is not conclusive in its support of the premillennial viewpoint. Louis Berkhof while claiming that half the church Fathers were amillennial during the second and third centuries (without offering any proof) does not even suggest that this was true in the first century.6 According to the amillennialists themselves evidence for amillennialism in the first century is reduced, then, to the disputed testimony of Barnabas. Over against this is the undisputed fact that Papias and others were definitely premillennial in this same period. As the case of Barnabas is the only available evidence for amillennialism according to the amillennialists themselves, a brief examination of his testimony will be made.

Kromminga who gives the testimony of Barnabas lengthy consideration points out that Barnabas in chapter IV of his Epistle subscribes to the interpretation that the Roman empire is the fourth of the empires of Daniel.7 This seems to imply that Barnabas thought the coming of the Lord was near for he refers to the fact that “the final stumbling-block approaches….”8 Kromminga further cites chapter XV of the Epistle of Barnabas as being the main passage in point: “Attend, my children, to the meaning of this expression: ‘He finished in six days.’ This implies, that the Lord will finish all things in six thousand years, for a day is with Him a thousand years. And He Himself testifieth, saying:.’Behold, today will be a thousand years.’ Therefore, my children, in six days, that is, in six thousand years, all things will be finished. ‘And He rested on the seventh day.’ This meaneth: when His Son, coming shall destroy the time (of wicked man) and judge the ungodly and change the sun and the moon and the stars, then shall He truly rest on the seventh day.”9

Barnabas seems to teach from this passage that the present age starting from creation will be completed in six thousand years—a common if unwarranted teaching. Of importance is his statement that “His Son” will come at the end of six thousand years, destroy the wicked, judge the ungodly, change the sun, moon, and stars, and then rest on the seventh day, i.e., for a thousand years. The plain implication that Christ will come before the final one thousand years has been taken almost universally to be a representation of a premillennial advent. Gibbon who was an infidel and totally impartial toward the millennial controversy interprets Barnabas (apparently) as follows: “The ancient and popular doctrine of the millennium was intimately connected with the Second Coming of Christ. As the works of creation had been finished in six days their duration in the present state, according to tradition, was fixed to six thousand years. By the same analogy it was inferred that this long period of labor and contention, which was now almost elapsed, would be succeeded by a joyful Sabbath of a thousand years, and that Christ with His triumphant band of the saints and the elect who had escaped death, or who had been miraculously revived, would reign upon the earth till the time appointed for the last and general resurrection…the reigning sentiment of the orthodox believers.”10

Not only impartial historians but also many amillennialists concede that this passage indicates Barnabas is properly classed as a premillennialist. Albertus Pieters, a longtime foe of premillennialism, in his series of articles in the Calvin Forum (August-September, 1938) agrees that both Papias and Barnabas are premillennial. W. H. Rutgers who attacks premillennialism without reserve nevertheless finds Barnabas merely doubtful but not clear.11 Landis as we have seen dismissed Barnabas as a premillenarian, but made no claim that he was amillennial. Only Kromminga of all authors consulted seems to believe that Barnabas is an amillenarian.

The contribution of the late D. H. Kromminga to the millennial controversy is one of the curious aspects of the current argument. Kromminga classifies himself as premillenarian because he finds it necessary to interpret millennial passages literally. It is evident from his writings, however, that he is more concerned in maintaining the tenets of covenant theology than of premillennialism, and his denominational and associational relationships were predominantly amillennial. His works on the millennium are so obviously catering to amillennial arguments that apart from the facts he presents the value of his argument is often stultified. In his discussion of Barnabas he labors for many pages to classify Barnabas as amillennial, and his entire chapter on the “Extent of Ancient Chiliasm” is devoted to it. His argument concedes that Barnabas is not a postmillenarian. Kromminga finds, however, in the spiritual interpretation and application which Barnabas makes of Exodus 33:3, Ezekiel 47:12 and Zephaniah 3:19, that his method is figurative interpretation, which he thinks is typical amillennialism.12 This is at best an argument that Barnabas is not a consistent premillenarian, but it certainly does nothing to negative his positive statements. Certainly modern premillenarians make a similar use of the Old Testament in typology and spiritual applications without denying the basic method of literal interpretation which is the basis for premillennialism.

About the only notable contribution of Kromminga in his entire discussion is his reference to the fact that Barnabas evidently believed in the judgment of the wicked at the second, premillennial advent rather than at the end of the millennium. Kromminga infers this contradicts the usual premillennial view.13 What Kromminga himself overlooks is that Barnabas does not say that the wicked are raised from the dead. Judging from the context, Barnabas is stating merely that the living wicked are judged “when His Son, coming, shall destroy the time (of the wicked man) and judge the ungodly….”14 Barnabas merely leaves out any statement about how the millennium will end. Even if Kromminga is right, however, it again would indicate only a variation rather than a denial of premillennialism. As far as making a positive contribution in favor of amillennialism, Barnabas has nothing to offer. The overwhelming testimony of reputable scholars has been for many years that Barnabas is properly a premillennialist, and it should be borne in mind that the literary evidence is entirely unchanged. The current attack on Barnabas is of recent origin and arises from the desire to shrink the historical basis of premillennialism rather than from an impartial and objective sturdy of the evidence.

It may be concluded, therefore, that the first century is barren of any real support to the amillennial viewpoint. While, indeed, the evidence is not altogether clear and not abundant for this century, it is significant that amillennial polemics have contented themselves with minimizing premillennial claims without attempting to support their own view by historical evidence. The first century is a lost cause for amillennialism. Amillennialism in the Second and Third Century

The second century like the first is devoid of any testimony whatever for amillennialism except at its close. To be sure Rutgers states with enthusiasm, “Chiliasm found no favor with the best of the Apostolic Fathers, nor does it find support in the unknown writer of the Epistle to Diognetus…. We find no trace of the teaching in Athenagoras, Theophilus, Tatian, Hegesippus, Dionysius of Corinth, Melito of Sardis or in Apollinaris of Hierapolis.”15

This is an astounding confession. Rutger’s evidence for amillennialism is that a whole century rolls by with no voice lifted against premillennialism. He concludes that chiliasm found no favor! If Peters is right, there were many premillennialists in their era, including some whom Rutgers believes have no trace of millennial teaching. Peters lists Pothinus, Justin Martyr, Melito, Hegesippus, Tatian, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Hippolytus, and Apollinaris as second century premillennialists.16

The best that the most ardent amillennialist can do in the first two centuries, then, is to claim the disputed Barnabas and hide behind the apparent silence of many of the Fathers. If amillennialism was the prevailing view of the church during this period we are left without sources or evidence.

The acknowledged lack of evidence for amillennialism in the second century is all the more remarkable because amillennialists are making so much in our day of the comparatively few evidences for premillennialism. If premillennialists are wrong for building upon such evidence as has been discovered—much of it almost beyond dispute in support of early belief in the millennial reign of Christ, what is the case for amillennialism which has no evidence at all which is undisputed? For 150 years after the crucifixion of Christ, the amillennialists have only one disputed exponent of amillennialist character—Barnabas—who is commonly conceded by many amillennialists and most neutral scholars to be premillennial. Such is the void that faces those seeking evidence for amillennialism.

At the very close of the second century and the beginning of the third we come upon the first bona fide amillennialists, Gaius (or, Caius) who wrote early in the third century; Clement of Alexandria, a teacher at the school there from 193 to 220; his pupil, Origen (185-254); and Dionysius (190-265). It was from these men that premillennialism suffered its first vocal and effective opposition. The nature of this opposition, its exegetical grounds, and the effect upon premillennialism are all significant.

Most of what we know about Gaius comes from other sources which are very much opposed to premillennialism. It is probable that he is properly classed as an amillenarian. The nature of the teachings of Clement and Origen are, however, well established and their ground for opposition to premillennialism is very significant.

The allegorizing method of interpreting Scripture which Kromminga attempted to find in Barnabas is clearly evident in Clement. Rutgers in his refutation of premillennialism shows little enthusiasm for the basis of Clement’s argument: “Clement, engrossed and charmed by Greek philosophy, applied this erroneous allegorical method to Holy Writ. It was a one-sided emphasis: opposed to the real, the visible, phenomenal, spacial and temporal. A Platonic idealistic philosophy could not countenance carnalistic, sensualistic conceptions of the future as that advanced by chiliasm. It shook the very foundation on which chiliasm rested. Robertson observed that ‘it loosed its [chiliasm’s] sheet-anchor,—naive literalism in the interpretation of Scripture.’“17

The work of Origen, if anything, was worse than Clement who was his teacher. No doctrine was safe from his use of the allegorical method, even the doctrine of resurrection. His method subverted the plain meaning of Scripture by a principle of interpretation so subjective that the interpreter could make what he willed from the written revelation. It was natural that one who opposed literal interpretation of Scripture in other realms should do the same in regard to the millennium. The influence and place of Origen is well-known and beyond question, and his hermeneutical method is repudiated at least in part by all modern scholars.

Dionysius who was Bishop of Alexandria in the latter part of the third century is noted for his controversy resulting from the teachings of Nepos, an ardent premillennialist, who as bishop had taught and written with such effectiveness that whole churches were withdrawing in protest against the spiritualization of Origen. Eusebius who gives the account (Chapter 24 of his Church History) describes a three-day conference held by Dionysius in which the matter was thoroughly discussed with the result that the schism was healed.18 Nepos had died sometime previous to the conference.

With the close of the third century, the evidence indicates a distinct increase in power in amillennialism and a corresponding loss of power for the premillennialists. In the church, it is clear that the rising tide of amillennialism comes almost entirely from the Alexandrian school, in particular, from Clement, Origen, and Dionysius, all of this locality. Accompanying this change in the church was the corresponding political change under Constantine which became effective more and more in the fourth century. With the coming of Augustine a new day and a new chapter in the history of millennialism was written.

BSac 106:423 (Jul 49) p. 302

Before considering the great influence of Augustine, which seems to have dominated the church for centuries afterward, it is necessary to recapitulate and evaluate the sources of amillennialism thus far discovered. In the first two centuries, only the disputed testimony of Barnabas can be cited. With the close of the second century and continuing through the third, a new foe to premillennialism arose in the Alexandrian school of interpretation. Its roots were in Platonic philosophy and in keeping with it the literal and plain meaning of Scripture was sacrificed for allegorical interpretations often of a most fanciful kind. Premillennialism was attacked then, not as a teaching unwarranted by the Word of God, but rather because it was a literal interpretation of it. The method used against premillennialism was unfortunately used against other major doctrines of Christianity with devastating effect. In their doctrines of the person of Christ, of sin, of salvation, and of eschatology the evil results of the allegorical method are easily traced. It was to this foe of proper interpretation of Scripture that premillennialism owed its decline. It may be concluded, then, that amillennialism in the first three centuries rests for the most part on silence, on one disputed representative in the first century, none in the second, and a fallacious and destructive principle of interpretation in the third century.

Dallas, Texas

(Series to be continued in the October-December Number 1949)

This article was taken from the Theological Journal Library CD and posted with permission of Galaxie Software.

3 George N. H. Peters, Theocratic Kingdom, I, 494-95.

4 Ira D. Landis, The Faith of Our Fathers on Eschatology, p. 369.

5 Ibid., p. 370.

6 Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology, p. 708.

7 Kromminga, op. cit., pp. 30-31.

8 Cited by Kromminga, ibid., p. 31.

9 Kromminga, ibid., p. 31.

10 “Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, I, 532.

11 Premillennialism in America (Oosterbaan & Le Cointre, Goes, Holland, 1930), p. 55.

12 Kromminga, op. cit., pp. 36-38.

13 Ibid., p. 32.

14 Ibid., p. 31.

15 W. H. Rutgers, op. cit., p. 57.

16 G. N. H. Peters, op. cit., I, 495-96.

17 W. H. Rutgers, op. cit., p. 64.

18 Cf. D. H. Kromminga, op. cit., pp. 61-63.


TOPICS: Charismatic Christian; Evangelical Christian; Theology
KEYWORDS: amillenialism; dispensationalilsm; millennialism; premillennialism
It may be concluded, therefore, that the first century is barren of any real support to the amillennial viewpoint. While, indeed, the evidence is not altogether clear and not abundant for this century, it is significant that amillennial polemics have contented themselves with minimizing premillennial claims without attempting to support their own view by historical evidence. The first century is a lost cause for amillennialism.

The second century like the first is devoid of any testimony whatever for amillennialism except at its close.

At the very close of the second century and the beginning of the third we come upon the first bona fide amillennialists, Gaius (or, Caius) who wrote early in the third century; Clement of Alexandria, a teacher at the school there from 193 to 220; his pupil, Origen (185-254); and Dionysius (190-265). It was from these men that premillennialism suffered its first vocal and effective opposition.

1 posted on 06/29/2014 9:54:35 AM PDT by wmfights
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: wmfights; Kandy Atz; Mrs.Z; CynicalBear; Iscool; amigatec; kjam22; boatbums; imardmd1; metmom; ...
Dispensational Caucus Ping

I think Dr. Walvoord does a great job of explaining how amillennialism was not the view of apostolic era Christians, or the century immediately following. The view held was premillennial.

2 posted on 06/29/2014 10:03:11 AM PDT by wmfights
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: wmfights
I know nothing will come of the suggestion, but, I recommend you take a look at Charles Hill's Regnum Caelorum: Patterns of Millennial Thought in Early Christianity .
3 posted on 06/29/2014 10:22:11 AM PDT by Lee N. Field ("And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise" Gal 3:29)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: wmfights
At the very close of the second century and the beginning of the third we come upon the first bona fide amillennialists, Gaius (or, Caius) who wrote early in the third century; Clement of Alexandria, a teacher at the school there from 193 to 220; his pupil, Origen (185-254); and Dionysius (190-265). It was from these men that premillennialism suffered its first vocal and effective opposition. The nature of this opposition, its exegetical grounds, and the effect upon premillennialism are all significant.

With the close of the third century, the evidence indicates a distinct increase in power in amillennialism and a corresponding loss of power for the premillennialists. In the church, it is clear that the rising tide of amillennialism comes almost entirely from the Alexandrian school, in particular, from Clement, Origen, and Dionysius, all of this locality. Accompanying this change in the church was the corresponding political change under Constantine which became effective more and more in the fourth century. With the coming of Augustine a new day and a new chapter in the history of millennialism was written.

As can be seen, this refusal to believe scripture and insert private interpretation started in Alexandria, Africa...It started with the Catholic religion, of course...Why would a Christian follow a religion that has its roots in Africa???

This false (non)interpretation serves the Catholic religion very well...With it, they gave themselves the role of being the true religion which will last to eternity...They secured their position by joining with the worldwide Roman army and wiping out as many of the 'heretics' as they could find...

With a literal reading of the scriptures with a real Millennium, Rome doesn't exist...There is no legitimate Church of Rome...They must deny the Millennium...

I don't know what happened to the Reformers...They apparently fell off the wagon some time ago, for some reason...

If the Millennium is allegorical, people have to dump countless numbers of passages in the O.T. since they become meaningless and are a waste of good ink and paper...I don't believe God had the O.T. prophets go out and tell stories for what, entertainment???

4 posted on 06/29/2014 11:01:58 AM PDT by Iscool
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Iscool
I don't know what happened to the Reformers...They apparently fell off the wagon some time ago, for some reason...

We have a great deal we can agree with them about, but why they refuse to see how much of the Roman theology they took with them is beyond me. One of the great battle cries of the Reformers were the 5 Solas, one of these being Sola Scriptura. We find Premillennialism in Scripture, you can't find Amillennialism unless you do away with literal interpretation of prophecy.

If the Millennium is allegorical, people have to dump countless numbers of passages in the O.T. since they become meaningless and are a waste of good ink and paper...I don't believe God had the O.T. prophets go out and tell stories for what, entertainment???

Great illustration of where allegorical interpretation leads.

It sure seems like we are going to see our LORD any day now with all that's going on in the Middle East. The shame of it is most people don't see the implications of the Pope siding with the Palestinians, or Russia becoming involved in supporting Iraq. Allegorical interpretation blinds people to seeing God's plan playing out right before us.

5 posted on 06/29/2014 11:34:23 AM PDT by wmfights
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: wmfights

Thanks for the ping. Walvoord has laid it out rather plainly. If there is no coming millennial reign by Christ much of scripture would have to be ignored or unduly allegorized. Those who claim the millennium is Christ reigning now would have to restrict Him to reigning over only a part of the universe.


6 posted on 06/29/2014 11:50:19 AM PDT by CynicalBear (For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Iscool
>> With a literal reading of the scriptures with a real Millennium, Rome doesn't exist...There is no legitimate Church of Rome...They must deny the Millennium...<<

Interesting how that works isn’t it? We see that in many sects. In order to fit scripture into their belief system they must allegorize or ignore parts of scripture.

>> I don't know what happened to the Reformers...They apparently fell off the wagon some time ago, for some reason...<<

I think most people forget or overlook that the Reformers came out of Catholic belief and retained much too much of that belief and practice.

7 posted on 06/29/2014 11:58:47 AM PDT by CynicalBear (For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: wmfights; Iscool
>>It sure seems like we are going to see our LORD any day now with all that's going on in the Middle East. The shame of it is most people don't see the implications of the Pope siding with the Palestinians, or Russia becoming involved in supporting Iraq. Allegorical interpretation blinds people to seeing God's plan playing out right before us.<<

As current events unfold you would think there would be more whose eyes are opened to how it fits into prophesy.

8 posted on 06/29/2014 12:01:33 PM PDT by CynicalBear (For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: wmfights

It has only been lately that I have even been familiar with the words premillennial and amillennial but I guess I have always been the latter

And I base my belief mainly on the following scriptures

Mathew 24
26
Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

27
For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

28
For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

Meaning there will be no carcass

John 14
14 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

2
In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

3
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

John 6
40
And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

He receives the saved unto himself at the last day.

Rev 20
4
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and [I saw] the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received [his] mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Rev 20:6
But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

So I suppose I believe that we have been living in a physical kingdom with Christ in his spiritual kingdom.

Luke 9:27
But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.

The ones in Rev 20:4 may have literally lived again and reigned in the spiritual kingdom of God.

Rev 20:16 may actually be saying that the rest of the dead would literally live again after the thousand years were finished.

We are getting prepared in this world to go to the one Christ is preparing, but it is hard for me or any one else to separate the two.


9 posted on 06/29/2014 1:00:49 PM PDT by ravenwolf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Lee N. Field

That is a lot of money for some ones opinion, I bought the entire Bible much cheaper that that.


10 posted on 06/29/2014 1:19:27 PM PDT by ravenwolf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: wmfights
Russia becoming involved in supporting Iraq

Syria, Russia, Iraq and Iran bonded together with China waiting on the sidelines...

11 posted on 06/29/2014 1:24:00 PM PDT by Iscool
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: ravenwolf
We are getting prepared in this world to go to the one Christ is preparing, but it is hard for me or any one else to separate the two.

Easy for me...Two Kingdoms...Jesus talks about a wedding in his parables...There's a bride...And, there are guests at the wedding...There's a lot more there going on than one might think...

A spiritual kingdom where Christians will reign with Christ while simultaneously a physical kingdom where humans live in peace for a thousand years...

Over 30,000 verses in that bible...They aren't all there just talking about fairy tales...

12 posted on 06/29/2014 1:32:39 PM PDT by Iscool
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: ravenwolf
That is a lot of money for some ones opinion, I bought the entire Bible much cheaper that that.

And a paperback at that...

13 posted on 06/29/2014 1:34:36 PM PDT by Iscool
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

To: Iscool
Syria, Russia, Iraq and Iran bonded together with China waiting on the sidelines...

I keep reminding myself we just don't know when. It could be soon. It could be another 500 years. To me, it sure looks like it will be soon.

15 posted on 06/29/2014 2:40:27 PM PDT by wmfights
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Iscool

Over 30,000 verses in that bible...They aren’t all there just talking about fairy tales...


You got that right, there is more going on than I could figure out in a thousand years.

Every time I think I am just getting a hint of something it always contradicts something else.

But I wonder if we are really supposed to know every thing?


16 posted on 06/29/2014 2:42:58 PM PDT by ravenwolf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

Comment #17 Removed by Moderator

To: CynicalBear
As current events unfold you would think there would be more whose eyes are opened to how it fits into prophesy.

I think that as more and more eyes are closed, the prophecy is able to go forward. Remember, blindness in part happens to Israel. It is not possible for a blind man to see these things. Blindness seems to be spreading to the church as we are experiencing a falling away.
18 posted on 06/29/2014 3:11:40 PM PDT by Seven_0 (You cannot fool all of the people, ever!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: ravenwolf
It has only been lately that I have even been familiar with the words premillennial and amillennial but I guess I have always been the latter

Why do you believe the verses you noted popint to no millennial reign on Earth? Excuse me if I misread your post.

From Dr. Wavoord's article:

The question of the disciples, “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6), occasioned no denial from the Lord Jesus, but merely the reminder that it was not for them to know the “time.” The request of the mother of James and John for preferment of her sons in the kingdom was not refused on the ground that no future earthly kingdom was in prospect, but that the places of honor were reserved for those chosen by the Father (Matt 20:20-23). While the argument from silence is never decisive, Christ also told His disciples, “If it were not so I would have told you” (John 14:2). If no earthly kingdom was in prospect, it seems strange also in view of the prevailing Jewish concept of an earthly kingdom that Christ should tell His disciples, “I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father has appointed unto me; that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Luke 22:29-30). The positive testimony of Revelation 20 with its six references to a reign of Christ on earth for one thousand years while hotly disputed and denied significance by the amillenialists is nevertheless their stubborn foe.

If this isn't demonstrative of a Millennial Reign of Christ on Earth you also have the actual behavior of the Apostles after Pentecost. Believers gathered with them in Jerusalem waiting in anticipation of the coming Kingdom.

19 posted on 06/29/2014 3:13:19 PM PDT by wmfights
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: CynicalBear; Iscool
As current events unfold you would think there would be more whose eyes are opened to how it fits into prophesy.

You would think so, but the opposite seems to be happening. A literal reading of Scripture has been devalued and I hate to say it, but Premillennialists have contributed to the problem by getting caught up in date setting. There is no question in my mind that the systematic theology of Premillennialists which places the literal understanding first and recognizes that GOD is not done with Israel is correct, but when we set dates we diminish our credibility.

20 posted on 06/29/2014 3:21:49 PM PDT by wmfights
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: F15Eagle
I’ve spoken to many who don’t want to hear; many that do.

It seems to me that the tears God will wipe away were shed for those friends and family we tried to share The Gospel with who just refused to believe. All we can do is keep sharing The Gospel.

21 posted on 06/29/2014 3:25:37 PM PDT by wmfights
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: F15Eagle
There’s no way Israel will let them put them on missiles. Their very survival will be immediately at stake.

It sure does seem imminent, but we don't know.

22 posted on 06/29/2014 3:29:46 PM PDT by wmfights
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Seven_0
>> I think that as more and more eyes are closed, the prophecy is able to go forward.<<

It’s amazing to me how fast this country has fallen into total depravity. The lies that have been evidently believed by that masses is stunning. It is true it did have to happen for prophecy to move forward in that if more understood so much of what is happening today would not have been allowed.

>> Blindness seems to be spreading to the church as we are experiencing a falling away.<<

Indeed it is. It doesn’t seem to matter what denomination or sect either.

23 posted on 06/29/2014 4:41:24 PM PDT by CynicalBear (For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: wmfights
>>A literal reading of Scripture has been devalued and I hate to say it, but Premillennialists have contributed to the problem by getting caught up in date setting.<<

If Satan can’t keep us from believing he will work to cause us to go beyond what is written. He is cunning. I’m not sure it’s those who set dates who discredit the view of Premillennialism but they do give an opening for the scoffers.

24 posted on 06/29/2014 4:45:53 PM PDT by CynicalBear (For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: CynicalBear
If Satan can’t keep us from believing he will work to cause us to go beyond what is written. He is cunning. I’m not sure it’s those who set dates who discredit the view of Premillennialism but they do give an opening for the scoffers.

Look how the "scoffers" try to claim that Premillennialism is new. The claim is often made that this belief started in the 1800's, but just from the first three articles we see Premillennialism was the view held in the Apostolic Era and the century that followed.

At the very close of the second century and the beginning of the third we come upon the first bona fide amillennialists, Gaius (or, Caius) who wrote early in the third century; Clement of Alexandria, a teacher at the school there from 193 to 220; his pupil, Origen (185-254); and Dionysius (190-265). It was from these men that premillennialism suffered its first vocal and effective opposition. The nature of this opposition, its exegetical grounds, and the effect upon premillennialism are all significant.

What's even more stunning is how quickly the exegesis shifted as a State backed hierarchy emerged.

I don't think it's a coincidence that most of the conservative churches are premillennial and the liberal churches are amillennial. It's as simple as do you look first at the literal WORD, or do you spiritize it till it's lost all meaning. As you point out so well "If Satan can’t keep us from believing he will work to cause us to go beyond what is written.

25 posted on 06/29/2014 5:42:56 PM PDT by wmfights
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: wmfights; CynicalBear
As you point out so well "If Satan can’t keep us from believing he will work to cause us to go beyond what is written.

Rightly interpreting the parables is going beyond what is written. An example, just before the harvest you can tell the difference between the wheat and the tares. The wheat will bow down under it's own weight and the tare will stand tall. Its time to harvest.

Seven
26 posted on 06/29/2014 5:59:53 PM PDT by Seven_0 (You cannot fool all of the people, ever!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: wmfights
There is no question in my mind that the systematic theology of Premillennialists which places the literal understanding first and recognizes that GOD is not done with Israel is correct, but when we set dates we diminish our credibility.

Certainly we can't set a day and a month but we are told to not be ignorant of the times and seasons...

Mat 24:32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
Mat 24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
Mat 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

27 posted on 06/29/2014 6:24:06 PM PDT by Iscool
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: F15Eagle
And there’s no way they’re gonna sit still when they do. There’s no way Israel will let them put them on missiles. Their very survival will be immediately at stake.

I have a feeling that Bibi is saying, 'oh, oh...I waited too long'...

An attack on Iran right now would be suicidal for Israel...But yet if they do nothing, it will be suicidal as well...

28 posted on 06/29/2014 6:29:31 PM PDT by Iscool
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Iscool
An attack on Iran right now would be suicidal for Israel...But yet if they do nothing, it will be suicidal as well...

It is not looking good for Israel especially since the United States has switched sides. They can't look to Christ for help before the rapture or they would be taken with the church. Interesting to watch.
29 posted on 06/29/2014 10:21:06 PM PDT by Seven_0 (You cannot fool all of the people, ever!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: wmfights
I think Dr. Walvoord does a great job of explaining how amillennialism was not the view of apostolic era Christians, or the century immediately following. The view held was premillennial.

Those who deny a one thousand year reign of Christ ON earth ruling the nations with a "rod of iron" have the burden of determining when to allegorize far more Scripture than the literalist does. The early believers were looking for an imminent return of Christ and was why Paul warned some in Thessalonika, who had sold everything they had and sat around waiting for Christ to come back, forcing others to work to feed them. He said, "If a man doesn't work, he shouldn't eat.". But I believe they ALL understood that Christ would return and would set up His millennial kingdom.

30 posted on 06/29/2014 11:29:10 PM PDT by boatbums (Proud member of the Free Republic Bible Thumpers Brigade.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: F15Eagle
And then, it will be on like Donkey Kong. Gonna need some European to negotiate a ‘peace deal’.

Yep...and it won't be "donkey ears" (Obama). ;o)

31 posted on 06/29/2014 11:34:26 PM PDT by boatbums (Proud member of the Free Republic Bible Thumpers Brigade.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: wmfights

Why do you believe the verses you noted popint to no millennial reign on Earth? Excuse me if I misread your post.


I do believe that the ones who were in the first resurrection has lived an reigned with Christ a thousand years here on earth and were kings and priests.


32 posted on 06/30/2014 5:30:08 AM PDT by ravenwolf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: ravenwolf
I do believe that the ones who were in the first resurrection has lived an reigned with Christ a thousand years here on earth and were kings and priests.

Do you think there would be some historical record of this reign on Earth?

33 posted on 06/30/2014 6:43:15 AM PDT by wmfights
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: boatbums
The early believers were looking for an imminent return of Christ and was why Paul warned some in Thessalonika, who had sold everything they had and sat around waiting for Christ to come back, forcing others to work to feed them. He said, "If a man doesn't work, he shouldn't eat.". But I believe they ALL understood that Christ would return and would set up His millennial kingdom.

Great point!

The Apostolic Era and the century that followed did not have any great controversy in it's millennial view. It was Premillennial. The thinking changed when the Alexandria school began to teach Amillennialism. The Supersessionists (the church has replaced Israel) preceded this and Amillennialism is a logical extension of this erroneous belief. Turning away from literal understanding first has been leading us to the great heresies we see today.

34 posted on 06/30/2014 6:57:09 AM PDT by wmfights
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson