Lori Jane

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Source: Focus on the Kingdom, November, 2022

Three Questions for Amillennialists​


Premillennialism describes the belief that at the Second Coming Jesus, as Messiah, will raise the faithful dead and establish with them a thousand- year long (millennial) Kingdom on the earth (Rev. 3:21; 2:26; 5:10). Jerusalem will be the capital of the Kingdom.

It is a well-documented fact that this belief was considered part of orthodox Christianity for some 300 years after the death of the Apostles. Justin Martyr, writing about 150 AD, speaks of his expectation that Christ will return to rule from Jerusalem. He then writes: “but I have also signified to you [Trypho, a Jew with whom he was in dialogue] that many — even those of that race of Christians who do not follow pure and godly doctrine — do not acknowledge this [the coming millennial kingdom].”

The German theologian Rothe says, “The Apostles unanimously expected the return of Christ to enter upon the [millennial] Kingdom on earth.”1

1. The first question which must be put to anti- millennialists is this: Why do you not see the future millennial Kingdom in Revelation 20:4? The text reads: “I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the word of God...and they came to life and began to reign with Christ for 1000 years.”

According to the ordinary rules of English what is described here is a coming to life after a beheading. Surely, then, this cannot be a description of figuratively “coming to life” at conversion! Surely the text speaks not of a figurative resurrection (conversion) but of an actual resurrection of dead people who had been previously beheaded?

If so, the resurrection described by John is a resurrection from death followed by a reign with Messiah for 1000 years. No such resurrection of decapitated martyrs has ever happened. It must therefore occur in the future. This is premillennialism.

Can any amillennialists answer this point satisfactorily?

2. Secondly, in Jeremiah 3:14-18, the Lord appeals to His people:

“Return to Me, My wayward sons,” says the Lord, “for I am your true master. If you do, I will take one of you from a town and two of you from a family, and I will bring you to Zion. Then I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you knowledge and understanding. It will be in those days when you are multiplied and increased in the land, that people will no longer say, ‘The ark of the covenant of the Lord.’ It will not come to mind, nor will they remember it, nor will they miss it, nor will it be made again. At that time the city of Jerusalem will be called, ‘The throne of the Lord,’ and all the nations will be gathered to Jerusalem, to honor the Lord’s name. They will no longer follow the stubborn inclinations of their own evil hearts. In those days the nation of Judah and the nation of Israel will be reunited, and they will come together from the land of the north to the land that I gave your fathers as an inheritance.”

What is the meaning of this passage if not what it plainly predicts? The throne of God is to be located in Jerusalem. Israel and Judah are to be reunited in a condition of permanent righteousness. They will arrive in Jerusalem from the land of the north. They will inherit the land promised to Abraham and be instructed there by true prophets. The nations will also gather in Jerusalem and never again turn to unrighteousness.

To our amillennial friends we say: Where will you fit such predictions into your system? Clearly this is not a description of the Church. The Church does not assemble from the north country. The throne of God is not at present in Jerusalem. Why will you not believe that this is a description of the new society to be born at the Second Coming?

3. Finally, amillennialists maintain that Revelation 20:1-4 describes the present time. The text says that Satan is thrown into a pit and sealed there. He is removed from the earth, “so that he would not deceive the nations any longer” (Rev. 20:3). Yet throughout the New Testament Satan is most active in the earth, “seeking someone to devour” (1 Pet. 5:8) and “deceiving the whole world” (Rev. 12:9; 1 John 5:19; 2 Cor. 4:4). How can Satan at the same time be both active in the earth and removed from it so that he can “no longer deceive the nations”?

The amillennial system seems to be committed to a logical impossibility — that Satan is at the same time on the earth (Rev. 12:13) and not on the earth (Rev. 20:3), and deceiving the whole world (Rev. 12:9) and no longer deceiving the nations (Rev. 20:3). Please explain.




1 Dogmatics II, p. 58.
 

LeeB

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Dec 3, 2022
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Good job Lori. We need to examine all teachings and beliefs no matter who they originated with.