Amillennialism

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  • Amillennialism

    Could someone who believes in amillennialism explain to me in sort of a timeline, the end times from the time of Christ onward? Sort of like the premillennial dispensationalists use to explain our (my) position. Maybe a brief explanation of what each part of the timeline means as explained in Scripture. The explanation of amillennialism has many posts, which if condensed would be a big help in understanding what is asserted that I presumably failed to see in the Bible, not that anyone was being personal. I just need a simple breakdown of this belief so I at least know what you all are talking about when discussing it and putting down the dispensation of times that the Bible mentions. Thanks.

  • #2
    Fundamentally, Amillennialism is the belief that the kingdom of God is now here, as a spiritual kingdom. Satan is bound in the first century, by Christ, and is still bound. But, Satan is not completely bound. Amillennialism itself doesn't say anything beyond this, except what is implied by this. There isn't a literal 1000-year physical reign of Christ.
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    • #3
      Is this the belief of all Presbyterian Churches or just some?
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      • #4
        Originally posted by Stratcat View Post
        Could someone who believes in amillennialism explain to me in sort of a timeline, the end times from the time of Christ onward? Sort of like the premillennial dispensationalists use to explain our (my) position. Maybe a brief explanation of what each part of the timeline means as explained in Scripture. The explanation of amillennialism has many posts, which if condensed would be a big help in understanding what is asserted that I presumably failed to see in the Bible, not that anyone was being personal. I just need a simple breakdown of this belief so I at least know what you all are talking about when discussing it and putting down the dispensation of times that the Bible mentions. Thanks.
        You're not going to get a simple breakdown of this position from a chart. It requires serious study. I tend to view time lines as a dispensational practice. However, I spent a hour digging, and these charts seem to be the most widely used on the net at the moment. To answer your other question as to whether Amillennialism is Presbyterian the answer is yes. It is generally accepted as the most widely embraced Eschatology amongst "Reformed." As a personal note, it was an easy transition from Covenant Theology.

        The Amillennialist affirms that the people of Israel have not been cast off or replaced, but rather, that the Gentiles have now been included among the Jews in God's Covenantal promises. In other words, not replacement but expansion. God's redemptive plan, as first promised to Abraham, was that "all nations" would be blessed through him. Israel is, and always has been, saved the same as any other nation: by the promises to the seed, Christ. Amillennialists, do not believe in a literal 1000 year reign of Christ on earth after His second coming. Rather, they affirm that when Christ returns, the resurrection of both the righteous and wicked will take place simultaneously (see John 5), followed by judgment and and the eternal state where heaven and earth merge and Christ reigns forever. Strong points of Amillennialism:
        • It is highly Christocentric: it makes Christ the center of all the biblical covenants (even the “Land” covenant or Siniatic)
        • It notes the universal scope of the Abrahamic Covenant (as key) to interpreting the rest of the biblical covenants
        • It sees salvation history oriented to a person (Christ), instead of a people (the nation of Israel)
        • It emphasizes continuity between the “people of God” (Israel and the Church are one in Christ Eph. 2:11ff)
        • It provides an ethic that is rooted in creation, and “re-creation” (continuity between God’s redemptive work now, carried over into the eternal state then)
        • It emphasizes a trinitarian view of God as it elevates the “person”, Christ Jesus, the second person of the trinity as the point and mediator of all history
        • It flows from a hermeneutic that takes seriously the literary character of the Scriptures (esp. the book of Revelation)

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        These graphs and comments are from a webpage:
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        1. The Church Age is the kingdom which the Old Testament prophets predict. God expands his people from the one nation of Israel in the Old Testament to the universal Christian church of the New Testament, making this phase of God’s people the “Israel of God” (Gal 6:16).

        2. Christ binds Satan during his earthly ministry at his first coming. His binding prevents Satan from stopping gospel proclamation. This allows for multitudes of sinners to convert to Christ and insures some restraint upon evil.

        3. Christ rules spiritually in the hearts of believers. We may expect occasional, short-lived influences of Christianity on culture and society, especially when Christians live out the implications of their faith.

        4. History will gradually worsen as evil’s growth accelerates toward the end. This will culminate in the great tribulation, with the arising of a personal Antichrist.

        5. Christ will return to end history, resurrect all men, and conduct the Final Judgment, and establish the eternal order. The eternal destiny of the redeemed may be either in heaven or in a totally renovated new earth.

        For serious study, I suggest reading some of the articles in the Amillennialism section of the forum.

        God bless,
        William
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        • #5
          Thank you for your research in this. There are statements made which confuse me about premillennialism, but we share beliefs is some areas. I know I'm asking a lot, but could you please timeline your understanding of the end times as you understand premillennialism dispensationalist view? I want to make sure there is not some kind of misunderstanding.

          Also, Satan is not only bound 1000 years, but is in the bottomless pit, so there is no way he could have anything to do with the rest of creation for that 1000-year period; he's not just bound. He is also sealed "that he should deceive the nations no more till the 1000 years be fulfilled." Folks, this just sounds too literal to not exist! I'm not trying to be difficult, but the Bible is literal here. Saints reign 1000 years while this happens. Look around!!! The world is an antiChristian mess! Does it really look like Satan is bound? I think you may be confusing this with when Christ said the end times had already begun during His time, not that Satan is bound, etc. Where does it say Satan is bound during Christ's time? See Revelation 20:1-6. The language is literal, as to what happens, when, and for how long.

          The rapture is not when Christ comes to earth--it is when saints go to meet him in the air--the rapture or harpazo (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17). Christ's second coming is when He comes to the earth to fight the battle of armageddon Revelation 19:11-21). One event is a leaving... us--the other is the second coming: Christ. Your timeline as you understand it might shed some light on some potential misunderstandings. We agree on some things, disagree on others, but I would like to be sure we have a proper understanding at least. Thanks for your help and your time.

          God Bless,
          Stratcat
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          • #6
            I am not interested in timelines, but I posted those per your request. Having such discussions are unprofitable, based on my experience with militant like dispys. I tend to avoid these discussions because they result in each person bouncing a Scripture from off another, each sharing a favorite interpretation or two but nothing really happening. I am more interested in the hermeneutic or "process/principals of interpretation" from each eschatological position. Literalism and Literalistic are perhaps the most simplistic terms describing differences between the two eschatological positions. My personal recommendation is not to even bother with the Amil position unless you have a willingness or already firm understanding and grasp of typology and covenant theology. Dispys are literalistic, rejecting the types, shadows, and symbols as foreseen by the early Church Fathers, and even the explicit Messianic Prophecies recognized by the faithful OT Saints. God uses "types" like numbers, patterns and shadows as standard symbols to foretell Biblical truth.

            These discussions usually result in misunderstandings and frustrations, much of which can or could be avoided if each took some time to understand the principal rules of interpretation for each camp. I find more people reject the Amil position because they believe it is "allegorical" or "spiritualizing" passages that they'd rather read in a literalistic fashion. In my opinion dispensationalism results from the lack of a proper understanding of the nature of the Old Covenant and its relationship to the New. My run ins have led me to conclude Dispensationalism often times parallels unbelieving Jews, whereby that conclusion is reinforced whenever they reject the foreshadowing of the early church. Furthermore, the restoration of Israel through Zionism, leads me to wonder and question whether further parallelism can be found in the early rejection of the Messiah in favor of one that would provide national liberation.

            God bless,
            William
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Stratcat View Post
              Also, Satan is not only bound 1000 years, but is in the bottomless pit, so there is no way he could have anything to do with the rest of creation for that 1000-year period; he's not just bound. He is also sealed "that he should deceive the nations no more till the 1000 years be fulfilled." Folks, this just sounds too literal to not exist!
              A vision of a dragon (previously described as sweeping a third of the stars out of the sky with its tail) bound in a great chain and thrown into a bottomless pit sounds too literal to not exist?

              Jesus is speaking of Satan as he continues into Mark 3:27 which speaks of the necessity of someone binding a strong man to plunder his house. Jesus has bound Satan so that he can rescue souls from Satan's dominion. The binding doesn't stop evil in the world, but it does prevent Satan from keeping captives by deceiving them.

              The rapture is not when Christ comes to earth--it is when saints go to meet him in the air--the rapture
              We all have an appointment with death. Any rapture is going to have to wait until after that appointment is met.
              Last edited by Cornelius; 04-23-2015, 09:02 AM.
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              • #8
                I think William is right, when we are each indoctrinated in our beliefs to the point of not giving in even when we perceive there is no other belief that is right but our own. I go by what the Bible says, but as for the term "literalism," that is just an overly simplistic label used for falsely analyzing the process by which a person learns. For example, I know the dragon, serpent, etc. are figurative for Satan, as is the figurative language for his tail sweeping one third of the stars from Heaven. It means Satan took one third of the angels from Heaven with him. I'm not an idiot.

                As for William's remarks about my belief in Zionism, comparing that to the beliefs of the scribes and Pharisees, that sounds like a left-handed way of saying that I am at their level and therefore am not saved, as Jesus said that unless we be better than they in understanding, we be no better off than they. This assertion, if that's what it is, is an extreme point of view that bears no merit in my case. To shortcut the thinking, I am reading that unless I am an Orthodox Presbyterian, I am not saved; at least, it's beginning to sound that way from William. I hope I am only just misunderstanding his point.

                I believe in what the Bible says, not always what others say it says, unless they agree with scripture. Then either the scholars and I are in agreement or I learn something from them. I know that there are many founding fathers of doctrine, and they vary. The Bible does not vary. Where did they supposedly learn their doctrine after all, from the Bible? I hope so. But because there are so many disagreements, some are getting their doctrine from the Bible, some aren't when we defer to using a scholar's understanding instead of our own. In other words, for every scholar that agrees with you all, I can find one who disagrees, which all proves little if anything. That is the root of the problem in this arduous discourse. Determining what is literal and what is figurative has always been a bone of contention. I have learned from teachers and the Bible on this doctrine, as you have. I don't disagree with you just to cause trouble. We disagree. Anyway, I agree to drop it. It isn't worth it for the ill will it could cause if we escalate the discussion.
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                • #9
                  "We all have an appointment with death. Any rapture is going to have to wait until after that appointment is met." The first statement is true. The second statement goes against Scripture 1 Thessalonians 4:17.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Stratcat View Post
                    I think William is right, when we are each indoctrinated in our beliefs to the point of not giving in even when we perceive there is no other belief that is right but our own.
                    I was raised in a Pentecostal Church that taught Dispensationalism. Amil is not what I was indoctrinated into.

                    As for William's remarks about my belief in Zionism, comparing that to the beliefs of the scribes and Pharisees, that sounds like a left-handed way of saying that I am at their level and therefore am not saved, as Jesus said that unless we be better than they in understanding, we be no better off than they.
                    I'm not sure what he meant, but he didn't imply that you weren't saved for having a different eschatology. Although, it's a good point that Amil centers on Christ and Dispy centers on unbelieving Jews.

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