Amillennialism

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Ariel82

Senior Member
Aug 8, 2011
16,931
428
83
#1
I think its time to revisit.

Here is the link to a thread of an old friend.

http://christianchat.com/bible-discussion-forum/30069-amillennialism.html

and here is the article for those interested:

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God's Covenant with Abraham

T. Pierce Brown


When one is cutting down a tree, it is not necessary to cut off each twig or branch. If one cuts it off at the base, or uproots it, the tree is down. However, there are values in cutting it up in smaller pieces for other purposes. The same is true with any false doctrine. For example, there are numerous verses in the Bible that show the falsity of premillennialism. Any one of them cuts it off at the roots. When a doctrine is based upon the idea that the kingdom that God promised has not yet been established, but God’s Word plainly teaches that it has, we need go no farther to show that the doctrine is false. Mark 9:1 says, “And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There are some of them that stand by, who shall in no wise taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God come with power.” Since it is evident that none of them are still living, the kingdom has come with power. Many other passages are equally decisive.

However, we want to examine some roots of the tree and see that it is rotten from the roots up. Also, when we examine it in smaller parts, we can better understand and combat other related false doctrines.

One of the foundations of the premillennial doctrine is that God made a covenant with Abraham that has never been fulfilled. It, therefore, must be fulfilled in the millennium, a thousand-year period in which Christ will set up the kingdom that He planned to set up, and the Jews will inherit the land which was promised to them, but they never received. How a literal thousand-year reign can fulfill a promise that they will possess the land forever is not clear.

It would take several large books to properly deal with all the errors of the system, but let us look at a small sample. J.D. Pentecost says on page 70 of Things to Come that since Abraham, Isaac and Jacob died without receiving the fulfillment of the promises (Hebrews 11:13), it was necessary for God to raise them from the dead to fulfill His Word. Then on page 73 he says, “If it is a literal covenant to be fulfilled literally, then Israel must be preserved, converted and restored.”

Let us note some of the promises made to Abraham and what the Bible says about their fulfillment. It is interesting to note that the same author, on page 83, after giving a list of promises, says, “Denial that these aforementioned promises have been fulfilled is puerile.” Since he says the covenant has never been fulfilled, and then gives a list of the things that were fulfilled, what part of the covenant has not been fulfilled, according to his assumptions?

The primary thing seems to be the land promise. In order to give himself room to maneuver, he says on page 68 that although the covenant is an unconditional one and promises Abraham and his seed the land forever, “an unconditional covenant may have blessings attached to that covenant that are conditioned upon the response of the recipient of the covenant—but these conditioned blessings do not change the unconditional character of the covenant.” It is remarkable how theologians, diplomats and politicians can throw words together that sound like they might mean something but do not mean anything. How a covenant can be unconditional and have the blessing of a promised land, but the blessing be conditioned on the response of the recipient, and yet the promise be unconditional is never explained. He does not specify which blessings of the covenant had conditions attached, but it could not possibly be the blessing of keeping the land! It does not seem to matter that Deuteronomy 4:26 says, “I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto you go over the Jordan to possess it; ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed.” Deuteronomy 8:20 says, “As the nations that Jehovah maketh to perish before you, so shall ye perish; because ye would not hearken unto the voice of Jehovah your God.” These are but two of many such references, which show that the idea of an unconditional covenant with disobedient people to receive the land forever is but a figment of imagination.

Let us look at the facts of the case, as the Bible gives them. God says, “I will give to you and your seed after you this land.” Regardless of what any unbeliever says, Joshua 21:43-45 says, “So Jehovah gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein. And Jehovah gave them rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; Jehovah delivered all their enemies into their hand. There failed not aught of any good thing which Jehovah had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.”

Without another Scripture, although there are other similar ones, the whole foundation of the premillennial theory is destroyed, for it based upon the idea that they never received the promise of the land. However, we need to understand that even though they received it, God also told them that they would lose it if they were not faithful. Deuteronomy 4:28, 8:19-20 and dozens of other Scriptures make this abundantly clear. Jeremiah 19:11 makes it even more striking, if possible, “Thus saith Jehovah of hosts: Even so will I break this people and this city, as one breaketh a potter’s vessel, that cannot be made whole again.”

Paul shows in Romans 9 through 11 that even though that was true, and they lost their right to the land, God has not cast away His people, for Paul was one of them. In Romans 11:5 he says, “Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.” He shows clearly that it is not the fleshly children of Abraham who are to receive the promise, but the spiritual ones who walk by faith. Galatians 3:7 says, “Know therefore that they that are of faith, the same are sons of Abraham.”

However, it is affirmed that Hebrews 11:13 shows that they did not receive the promises, so they must be resurrected to receive them. It says, “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” How can we reconcile Hebrews 11:13 with Hebrews 6:15 that says he did receive the promise and Joshua 21:43-45 that says that not one word failed, it all came to pass? The answer seems simple for those who accept the Bible as God’s Word. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob died before all of the promises were fulfilled, for some of the promises had to do with the coming of Christ and the blessings that came through Him, including the “eternal city, whose builder and maker is God.” Even while they were dwelling in the land that had been promised them, they recognized that they were but pilgrims and sojourners, looking for an eternal home. Hebrews 11:13-16 shows that Abraham was not expecting an earthly home, but a heavenly one. The whole of Galatians 3 shows the same thing, summarized by the statement in Galatians 3:27,”And if ye are Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, heirs according to the promise.”

One other point needs our consideration. It is affirmed that the land was promised to them forever, so they lost it by disobedience, so they will have to get it in the millennium to have the promise fulfilled. There are several problems with that. If Christ is to reign 1000 years, and they are to inherit the land during that time, that 1000 years would no more be forever than some other prior period would be. The truth is that the Hebrew word “olam,” translated “everlasting,” is equivalent to the Greek phrase “eis ton aiona,” which literally means “unto the age” and is an undefined period, meaning “throughout the age” to which it refers. Such passages as Deuteronomy 15:17 where a servant was to belong to his master “forever” and Philemon 15 where the same idea is expressed show it to have reference to an undetermined length of time, but throughout the period under consideration–whatever the period was. Exodus 30:21 gives a fairly clear picture of how a thing could be said to be “forever,” but only last throughout their generations—as long as they existed as God’s chosen people. He is giving instructions to Aaron and his sons who were to be priests. He says, “So they shall wash their hands and their feet, that they die not: and it shall be a statute for ever to them, even to him and to his seed throughout their generations.” Although it was said to be a statute forever, it was to be only “throughout their generations” and the Aaronic priesthood is shown by the Hebrew letter to be replaced by Christ, who is a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek. It is amazing almost beyond belief that persons who claim to be preachers of the Gospel can either deny these facts or teach that although they do not believe the premillennial doctrine, it is of no consequence. It is of serious consequence, for one cannot consistently believe that doctrine and believe what the inspired apostles and Christ Himself taught.

So, God’s covenant with Abraham was not unconditional, and like all other promises of God was either fulfilled or is being fulfilled. The parts that were literally fulfilled are clearly shown, such as the land promise. The parts that are spiritually fulfilled are also shown by the New Testament writers who specifically indicate their fulfillment. Remember that the surest way to know if a prophecy has been fulfilled is to listen to God’s Word as He says, “This is that which was spoken” or other similar words.

Gospel Gazette Online
 

Ariel82

Senior Member
Aug 8, 2011
16,931
428
83
#2
My Shift to Covenant Theology and Amillennialism

David L. White

Since I anticipate questions on this from friends who have known me in the past, I thought I would write up some brief (and somewhat rambling and overlapping) comments that will primarily describe the process by which my thinking shifted, and very briefly (and only partially) defend what I consider to be the biblical teaching. As you will soon notice, this is not a detailed exegetical and theological treatment of the issues I address. Rather, it is more along the lines of a personal recollection and reflection.
To help make up for the deficiencies of my treatment here, I have included a short list of books and articles at the end of this paper that I either refer to in the text or that I recommend for further reading.

COVENANT THEOLOGY AND AMILLENNIALISM
 

Ariel82

Senior Member
Aug 8, 2011
16,931
428
83
#3
Amillennialism

Anthony Hoekema

My discussion of the amillennial understanding of the millennium will include the following topics: the interpretation of the book of Revelation, the interpretation of Revelation 20:1-6, a look at two Old Testament passages commonly viewed as predicting an earthly millennial kingdom, a brief sketch of amillennial eschatology and a summarizing statement of some of the implications of amillennial eschatology.

A word should first be said about terminology. The term amillennialism is not a happy one. It suggests that amillennialists either do not believe in any millennium or that they simply ignore the first six verses of Revelation 20, which speak of a millennial reign. Neither of these two statements is true. Though it is true that amillennialists do not believe in a literal thousand-year earthly reign which will follow the return of Christ, the term amillennialism is not an accurate description of their view. Professor Jay E. Adams of Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia has suggested that the term amillennialism be replaced by the expression realized millennialism.1 The latter term, to be sure, describes the “amillennial” position more accurately than the usual term, since “amillennialists” believe that the millennium of Revelation 20 is not exclusively future but is now in process of realization. The expression realized millennialism, however, is a rather clumsy one, replacing a simple prefix with a three-syllable word. Despite the disadvantages and limitations of the word, therefore, I shall continue to use the shorter and more common term, amillennialism.

The Interpretation of the Book of Revelation

To see the background for the amillennial view of the millennium, we should first of all concern ourselves with the question of the interpretation of the book of Revelation. Let us assume, for example, that the book of Revelation is to be interpreted in an exclusively futuristic sense, referring only to events that are to happen around or at the time of Christ’s Second Coming. Let us further assume that what is presented in Revelation 20 must necessarily follow, in chronological order, what was described in chapter 19. We are then virtually compelled to believe that the thousand-year reign depicted in 20:4 must come after the return of Christ described in 19:11. But if we see Revelation 20:1-6 as describing what takes place during the entire history of the church, beginning with the first coming of Christ, we will have an understanding of the millennium of Revelation 20 which is quite different from the one just mentioned. For this reason it will be necessary first to say something about the way in which the book of Revelation should be interpreted.

The system of interpretation of the book of Revelation which seems most satisfactory to me (though it is not without its difficulties) is that known as progressive parallelism, ably defended by William Hendriksen in More Than Conquerors, his commentary on Revelation.2 According to this view, the book of Revelation consists of seven sections which run parallel to each other, each of which depicts the church and the world from the time of Christ’s first coming to the time of his second. The first of these seven sections is found in chapters 1-3...

...........read more:

Amillennialism - Sermon Index
 

Ariel82

Senior Member
Aug 8, 2011
16,931
428
83
#5
Reformed Eschatology (Amillennial) Since the Reformation


It is probably well known that the Reformation did not develop Christian doctrine in the area of eschatology very strongly. In part this was due to the fact that, in general, the Reformers accepted the long-standing, amillennial eschatology of Augustine set forth c. AD 400. And partly this was due to the fact that the various doctrines that belong to eschatology were not all that controversial at the time of the Reformation. An exception to this was the chiliast error (literal millennialism, i.e., thousand-year reign of Christ on earth) that arose again in the church, this time in the Anabaptist camp. The Reformers rejected this, as had Augustine twelve centuries earlier and the church consistently thereafter. Perhaps another controversial area was the Reformers' view of the Antichrist, whom most believed to be the Roman Catholic papacy.

This is not to say, however, that the Reformers did not have a firm, orthodox belief of the last things. They certainly did, as other articles in this special issue demonstrate. In simple, straightforward fashion they followed the teaching of Scripture concerning the hope of the church. They understood this present age to be the so-called millennium of Revelation 20:1-6 and the last before the return of Christ. They believed the end of this age would be marked by increasing wickedness in the world and apostasy in the church, culminating in the rise of the antichrist. They held to the personal, visible, glorious coming (only one!) of Christ when all things were full according to God's counsel. They embraced the truth of the bodily resurrection of all the dead, the final, public judgment, and the re-creation of the heavens and the earth by Christ upon His return. And they believed the everlasting states of the righteous and wicked - unending bliss with God in the new creation for the former, and unending torment in hell for the latter. The Reformation doctrine of the last things may be seen (and read), for example, in the brief but beautiful thirty-seventh article of the Belgic Confession.
 

SpoonJuly

Senior Member
Feb 16, 2018
284
89
28
#6
You would do well to study the Bible and not accept the teaching of men.
 

Ariel82

Senior Member
Aug 8, 2011
16,931
428
83
#7
You would do well to study the Bible and not accept the teaching of men.
The same could be said for yourself, for I don't know a single person who wouldn't benefit from more Bible study.

We should all seek to learn and accept the teaching of One Man: Christ Jesus.

Why do you believe in the Rapture and 1000 year reign with Jesus on Earth in glorified bodies?

skimmed some of your past posts and it appears to be your stance. you can correct me if its an inaccurate assessment of your beliefs.

if you were wrong and Ammillenialism is what Jesus taught, how would that change your outlook on the world and how you live?
 

Depleted

Senior Member
Dec 13, 2015
22,166
480
83
Philly, PA, USA
#8
Reformed Eschatology (Amillennial) Since the Reformation


It is probably well known that the Reformation did not develop Christian doctrine in the area of eschatology very strongly. In part this was due to the fact that, in general, the Reformers accepted the long-standing, amillennial eschatology of Augustine set forth c. AD 400. And partly this was due to the fact that the various doctrines that belong to eschatology were not all that controversial at the time of the Reformation. An exception to this was the chiliast error (literal millennialism, i.e., thousand-year reign of Christ on earth) that arose again in the church, this time in the Anabaptist camp. The Reformers rejected this, as had Augustine twelve centuries earlier and the church consistently thereafter. Perhaps another controversial area was the Reformers' view of the Antichrist, whom most believed to be the Roman Catholic papacy.

This is not to say, however, that the Reformers did not have a firm, orthodox belief of the last things. They certainly did, as other articles in this special issue demonstrate. In simple, straightforward fashion they followed the teaching of Scripture concerning the hope of the church. They understood this present age to be the so-called millennium of Revelation 20:1-6 and the last before the return of Christ. They believed the end of this age would be marked by increasing wickedness in the world and apostasy in the church, culminating in the rise of the antichrist. They held to the personal, visible, glorious coming (only one!) of Christ when all things were full according to God's counsel. They embraced the truth of the bodily resurrection of all the dead, the final, public judgment, and the re-creation of the heavens and the earth by Christ upon His return. And they believed the everlasting states of the righteous and wicked - unending bliss with God in the new creation for the former, and unending torment in hell for the latter. The Reformation doctrine of the last things may be seen (and read), for example, in the brief but beautiful thirty-seventh article of the Belgic Confession.
This part isn't true. We Reformers don't talk much about eschatology because we're more interested in learning about God himself, and there is no sanctioned view on it, because it has nothing to do with reformed beliefs. Most of us think whatever version of End Times we want to think, because we all know we're just guessing anyway.

I'm definitely not amill. Hubby leans towards it. No idea what most of the Reformers I know think for their view. It's just not bothered with anymore that figuring out what Jesus looked like or what the Garden of Eden was like.
 

SpoonJuly

Senior Member
Feb 16, 2018
284
89
28
#11
The same could be said for yourself, for I don't know a single person who wouldn't benefit from more Bible study.

We should all seek to learn and accept the teaching of One Man: Christ Jesus.

Why do you believe in the Rapture and 1000 year reign with Jesus on Earth in glorified bodies?

skimmed some of your past posts and it appears to be your stance. you can correct me if its an inaccurate assessment of your beliefs.

if you were wrong and Ammillenialism is what Jesus taught, how would that change your outlook on the world and how you live?
I just believe what the Bible clearly teaches. Never try to make it say what it does not say.
Nothing would or will change my outlook on the world or how I live.
 

Ariel82

Senior Member
Aug 8, 2011
16,931
428
83
#12
This part isn't true. We Reformers don't talk much about eschatology because we're more interested in learning about God himself, and there is no sanctioned view on it, because it has nothing to do with reformed beliefs. Most of us think whatever version of End Times we want to think, because we all know we're just guessing anyway.

I'm definitely not amill. Hubby leans towards it. No idea what most of the Reformers I know think for their view. It's just not bothered with anymore that figuring out what Jesus looked like or what the Garden of Eden was like.
I appreciate you at least took the time to read the excerpts (maybe even the whole article) before posting.

and appreciate that you didn't engage in any ad hominem attacks, but actually commented on the topic. thanks for that.
 

Angela53510

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2011
9,900
699
113
#13
The 2 top books for understanding Amillennialism are:

The Case for Amillennialism: Understanding the End Times by Kim Riddlebarger
and
The Bible and the Future by Anthony A. Hoekema

Another one I have not finished is "Kingdom Come: The Amillennial Alternative" by Sam Storms. This book goes into the problems of both dispensationalism and the pre-mill, pre-trib rapture. I have several other books, more partial preterist, if anyone wants the titles.

I have always been amillennial. That came from reading the Bible over and over. I read some of Hal Lindsay's books, and they were all over the map, making up stuff as he went along. I know that is more pap for the masses, so I have critically read other books, and they all seem to conflate the Bible, add things that are not there, and generally quote each other, making their wrong eschatology seem right.

I will say this, I really don't care what you believe about end times, in terms of your salvation. Eschatology does not determine whether God justifies us or not. But, I do think getting eschatology correct helps contribute to sanctification, as does any correct doctrine.

PS. Kim Riddlebarger also came out of dispensationalism. It is what any thinking person will do! Here is a link to an article on this topic by him.

Riddleblog - The Latest Post - What's a Thousand Years Among
 
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FlSnookman7

Senior Member
Jun 27, 2015
1,123
124
63
#15
Hmmm, I guess I am a pre trib (dispensational) premillenialist......who knew?
 
Aug 7, 2016
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#16
Yeah I was gonna comment on this earlier.

I eon't subscribe to anything that has to do with the end times, rapture, or the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, in a future time at all. Because I believe all of that has done came and passed.

It's more freeing to believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is with me here now, than having to wait on Him to return...

I know I am gonna go to God, when I die anyway, so is everyone else. We will all go see.
 

Locutus

Senior Member
Feb 10, 2017
3,768
76
48
#17
Amillennialism is closer to the mark, but fall short somewhat in my opinion.
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
5,499
406
83
#18
T. Pierce Brown on the Abrahamic Covenant
NOTE: This writer is dealing with what another writer has said, but not dealing with the actual Scriptures pertaining to the subject. I will quote some of his erroneous thoughts and show you why he is not to be trusted in this matter.

Mark 9:1 says, “And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There are some of them that stand by, who shall in no wise taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God come with power.”
The Kingdom of God came with POWER on the Day of Pentecost. But Mr. Brown could not figure this out.

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
How a literal thousand-year reign can fulfill a promise that they will possess the land forever is not clear.
It is crystal clear when we understand that the Millennium is only the beginning of Christ’s ETERNAL Kingdom on earth. Redeemed and restored Israel will be on earth eternally as promised by God. But Mr. Brown could not figure this out either.
...the idea of an unconditional covenant with disobedient people to receive the land forever is but a figment of imagination
Not at all. Even the apostle Paul addressed this in Romans 11:25-32 (which Mr. Brown failed to quote and explain what it meant):

25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes.
29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

This ties in with the prophecy of Ezekiel and the promise of the land to Israel. Please note carefully that "when I shall take away their sins" is connected to "And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers":

EZEKIEL 36
24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.

25
Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.

26
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

27
And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

28
And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.

Regardless of what any unbeliever says, Joshua 21:43-45 says, “So Jehovah gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein.
But that was not the end of the story. Israel went into Babylonian captivity (c 600 BC) and lost their land, and the remnant which returned later was under Gentile rule until AD 70, when all the Jews are driven out of Palestine. After 1948 the secular nation-state of Israel occupied only a fraction of Palestine, and today occupies about 1/10[SUP]th[/SUP] of the land promised under the Abrahamic Covenant. It is only AFTER the literal second coming of Christ to earth that the kingdom of Israel will be restored, and will occupy the land from the Nile to the Euphrates (as promised to Abraham).

The whole of Galatians 3 shows the same thing, summarized by the statement in Galatians 3:27,”And if ye are Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, heirs according to the promise.”
This is where all the confusion begins. Paul is speaking about those who have been justified by grace through faith (as was Abraham) and have thus become “Abraham’s seed” (both Jews and Gentiles). But as we know from the New Testament, all of this is about THE CHURCH. Replacement Theology (which is a part of Amillenialism) replaces Israel with the Church, but God does not do so. That is purely man-made teaching.

So, God’s covenant with Abraham was not unconditional, and like all other promises of God was either fulfilled or is being fulfilled.
Anyone who has read the terms and conditions of the Abrahamic Covenant (reiterated to both Isaac and Jacob) would know that God’s covenant with Abraham was UNCONDITIONAL. Yet this writer contradicts God, rather than believing God’s promises. Some of the Abrahamic Covenant was fulfilled in Christ, and is being fulfilled in the Church, but that is not the end of the story. God has an eternal future plan for the Church, but He also has an eternal future plan for redeemed and restored Israel on earth. This is solidly backed up with dozens of passages of Scripture, and as Christ said, ALL MUST BE FULFILLED.
 
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Ariel82

Senior Member
Aug 8, 2011
16,931
428
83
#20
Yeah I was gonna comment on this earlier.

I eon't subscribe to anything that has to do with the end times, rapture, or the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, in a future time at all. Because I believe all of that has done came and passed.

It's more freeing to believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is with me here now, than having to wait on Him to return...

I know I am gonna go to God, when I die anyway, so is everyone else. We will all go see.
So if you want your name tag it would read "postmillenialist".

As Angela stated,i don't think a firm understanding or stance on eschatology is needed for salvation.

However from my research and rereading of the Bible countless times. Along with other factors. Anillennialism makes the most sense to me. However it's not one I will break fellowship with others over.....no only do that when they start making personal attacks and tell me how stupid I am,